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"  I  now  believe  that  the  ultimate  last  seat  of  government  on  this  great  continent 
will  be  found  somewhere  within  a  circle  or  radius  not  very  far  from  the  spot  on 
which  I  stand,  at  the  head  of  navigation  on  the  Mississippi  River." 

W.  H.  Sewabd,  Speech  at  St.  Paul,  1860. 


FIELDS,   OSGOOD,   &   CO. 

f^  f  ^  f 



Eutered  according  to  Act  of  Congrcsg,  in  the  year  1870,  by 


in  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  for  the  District  of  Maaeachusetts. 

University  Press:  Welch,  Bigelow,  &  Co., 











^fjis  Falume 





Cutting  loose  from  Care.  —  Map  of  the  Northwest.  —  Leaving 
Chicago.  —  Fourth  of  July.  —  At  La  Crosse.  —  Dance  on  a 
Steamboat.  —  Up  the  Mississippi.  —  The  Boundaries  of  Min- 
nesota. —  Winona. —  St.  Paul. —  Minneapolis. —  The  Father 
of  Waters  in  Harness 



St.  Cloud.  —  Our  Party.  —  First  Night  in  Camp.  —  A  Midnight 
Thunder-Storm.  —  Sunday  in  Camp.  —  Up  the  Sauk  Valley.  — 
White  Bear  Lake.  —  Catching  a  Turtle.  —  Lightning  Lake.  — 
Second  Sabbath  in  Camp.  —  The  River  Systems  of  the  Nox'th- 
west.  —  Elevations  across  the  Continent.  —  The  Future  .        .    25 



Down  the  Valley  of  the  Red  River.  —  Breckenridge.  —  Fort  Ab- 
ercrombie.  —  Climate.  —  Winters  at  Winnipeg.  —  Burlington. 

—  The  Emigrant.  —  Father  Genin.  —  Mackenzie.  —  Harman. — 
Sir  John  Richardson.  —  Captain  Palliser.  —  Father  De  Smet. 

—  Winters  on  the  Saskatchawan.  *—  Snow-Fall        .       .       .51 




Winnipcggers.  —  Rido  over  the  Prairio.  —  Dakota  City.  — 
Gcorp;ctown.  —  Hudson  Hay  Company  Teams.  —  Parting  with 
our  Friends.  —  The  43d  Parallol.  —  Dalcota.  —  Wyoming.  — 
Montana.  —  Idaho.  —  Oregon.  —  Washington.  —  British  Co- 
himbia.  —  Distances.  —  Fisheries  of  tlie  Pacific.  —  Mr.  Sew- 
ard's Speech 77 



Bottineau.  —  The  Leaf  Hills.  —  A  Ride  over  the  Plain.  —  The 
Park  Region.  —  Settlers.  —  How  they  kept  the  Fourth  of  July. 
—  Chippewa  Indians.  —  Rush  Lake.  —  A  Serenade  on  the 
Prairie.  —  German  Pioneers.  —  Otter-Tail  Lake     .        .        .    109 



Noon  Lunch.  —  Toasting  Pork.  —  A  Montana  Dutchman.  — 
Emigrant  Trains.  —  Camping  at  Night.  —  Wheat  of  Min-< 
nesota.  — The  State  in  1849. —  A  Word  to  Yoimg  Men. — 
Boys  once  more.  —  Our  Last  Camp-Fire         ....     123 


m    THE   FOREST. 

Down-Easters.  —  The  Eden  of  Lumbermen.  —  Country  East  of 
the  Mississippi.  —  The  Climate  of  the  Forest  Region.  —  White 
Bear  Lake.  —  Travellers  from  Duluth.  —  A  Maine  Farmer  in 
Minnesota.  —  Chengv/atona.  —  Pitching  of  the  Mud-Wagon. 
Grindstone.  —  Kettle  River.  —  Superior 137 

'     CONTENTS.  Vii 



Duluth.  —  Minnesota  Point. —Tlio  Projected  Brcnltwatcr. — 
Comparison  witli  tlio  Suez  Canal.  —  The  Town.  —  Period  of 
Navigation.  —  The  Lalco  Superior  and  Mississippi  Railroad. 
Transportation.  — Elevators.  —  St.  Louis  River.  —  Minnesota 
Slate  Quarry.  —  An  Indian  Chief  and  his  Followers. — Rail- 
roiid  Lfuids.  —  Manufactui'ing  Industry.  —  Terms  of  the  Rail- 
road Company 154 



The  Apostle  Islands.  —  Bayfield.  —  The  Harbor.  —  Breakfast     ^ 
with  Captain* Vaughn.  —  Asliland.  —  Big    Trout.  —  Onto- 
nagon. —  Approach    to  Marquette.  —  The    Ilai-bor.  —  The 
Town.  —  Discovery  of  Iron  Ore.  —  kilning  Companies. — Va- 
rieties of  Ore. —  The  Miners.  —  The  Coming  Years       .        .    1G9 



A  Talk  about  the  Northwest.  —  Mr.  Blotter. —  He  wants  a  Farm. 

—  Government  Lands.  —  Homestead  Law  of  Minnesota.  — 
Exemption  LaAVS.  —  The  St.  Paul  and  Pacific  Railroad.  — 
Liberal  Terms  of  Piivment.  —  Stock-Raisin<r.  —  Rolibing 
Mother  Earth.  —  Native  Grasses.  —  Fruit.  —  Small  Grains. — 
Productions  of  the  State,  1869. —  Schools. — When  to  Emi- 
grate. —  Prospective  Development.  —  The  Tide  of  Emigi'a- 

tion 186 



How  Communities  grow.  —  Humboldt.  —  What  I  saw  in  1846. 

—  The  Pacific  Coast.  —  Eiver-Systems.  —  Lewis  and  Clark. 

•  •  • 


—  ,Tc(T  Davis.  —  Charter  of  tlic  Company.  —  Tho  Projcctora. 

—  Tho  Luic.  —  From  Lake  Superior  to  tho  Mississippi.— 
To  the  Roclty  Mountains.  —  Deer  Lodge  Pass.  —  The  West- 
ern Slope.  —  Mr.  Roberts's  Report.  —  Snow  Blockades.  —  Ele- 
vations. —  Power  of  Locomotives.  —  Bureau  of  Emigration. 

—  Portable  Houses.  —  Help  to  Emigrants.  —  The  Future      .    207 




LAST  summer  I  cut  loose  from  all  care,  and 
enjoyed  a  few  weeks  of  freedom  and  recrea- 
tion with  a  party  of  gentlemen  on  the  frontier 
between  Lake  Superior  and  the  Missouri  River. 
I  was  charmed  by  the  beauty  of  the  country, 
amazed  at  its  resources,  and  favorably  impressed 
by  its'  probable  future.  Its  attractions  were  set 
forth  in  a  series  of  letters  contributed  to  the  Bos- 
ton Journal. 

People  from  every  Eastern  State,  as  well  as  from 
New  York  and  the  British  Provinces,  have  called 
upon  me  since  my  return,  for  the  purpose  of  "  hav- 
ing a  talk  about  the  Northwest,"  while  others  have 
applied  by  letter  for  additional  or  specific  infor- 
mation, and  others  still  have  requested  a  repub- 
lication of  the  letters.  In  response  to  these  calls 
this  small  volume  has  been  prepared,  setting  forth 
the  physical  features  of  the  vast  reach  of  country 
lying  between  the  Lakes  and  the  Pacific,  not  only 


in  tlie  United  States,  but  in  British  America  as 

The  most  trustworthy  accounts  of  persons  who 
have  lived  there,  as  well  as  of  engineers  who  have 
been  sent  out  by  the  United  States,  British,  and 
Canadian  governments,  have  been  collated,  that 
those  seeking  a  home  in  Minnesota  or  Dakota 
may  know  what  sort  of  a  country  lies  beyond, 
and  what  will  be  its  probable  future. 

The  map  accompanying  the  volume  has  been 
prepared  for  the  most  part  by  the  Bureau  of  the 
United  States  Topographical  Engineers.  It  gives 
me  pleasure  to  acknowledge  my  indebtedness  to 
Major- General  Humphreys,  in  charge  of  the  Bu- 
reau, and  to  Colonel  Woodruffe,  in  charge  of  tlie 
map  department,  for  permission  to  use  the  same. 

Througli  their  courtesy  I  am  enabled  to  place 
before  the  public  the  most  complete  map  ever 
published  of  the  country  between  the  36tli  and 
55th  parallel,  extending  across  the  continent,  and 
showing  not  only  the  entire  railway  system  of  the 
Eastern  and  Middle  States,  but  also  the  Union 
Pacific  Railroad  and  the  Nortliern  Pacific,  now 
under  construction.  The  figures  followed  l)y  the 
letter  T  have  reference  to  the  elevatioii  of  the 
locality  above  tide-water,  thus  enabling  tlie  reader 
to  obtain  at  a  glance  a  comprehensive  idea  of  the 
topographical  as  well  as  the  geographical  features 
of  the  country.  ,  . ,    ,.  ,  .  ,  ,      ,  , , ,      . 


"  All  aboard  for  the  Northwest ! " 

So  shouted  the  stalwart  porter  of  the  Sherman 
House,  Chicago,  on  the  morning  of  the  5th  of 
July,  1869. 

Giving  heed  to  the  call,  we  descended  the  steps 
of  the  hotel  and  entered  an  omnibus  waiting  at 
the  door,  that  quickly  whirled  ils  to  the  depot  of 
the  Chicago  and  Northwestern  liailroad. 

There  were  about  a  dozen  gentlemen  in  the 
party,  all  bound  for  the  Northwest,  to  explore  a 
portion  of  the  vast  reach  of  country  lying  between 
Lake  Superior  and  the  great  northern  bend  of  the 
Missouri  Eiver. 

It  was  a  pleasant,  sunny,  joyful  morning.  The 
anniversary  of  the  nation's  independence  having 
fallen  on  the  Sabbath,  the  celebration  was  observed 
on  Monday,  and  the  streets  resounded  with  the 
explosion  of  fire-crackers.  Americans,  Germans, 
Norwegians,  Irish,  people  of  all  nationalities,  were 
celebrating  the  birthday  of  their  adopted  country. 
Not  only  in  Chicago,  but  throughout  the  cosmo- 
politan State  of  Wisconsin,  as  we  sped  over  its 
fertile  prairies  and  through  its  towns  and  villages 
during  the  day,  there  was  a  repetition  of  the 
scene.  .  •  ;/. 

Settlers  from  New  England  and  the  Middle 
States  were  having  Sabbath-School,  temperance,  or 
civic  celebrations  ;  Irish  societies  were  marching  in 
procession,  bearing  green  banners  emblazoned  with 


the  shamrock,  thistle,  and  harp  of  Erin;  Ger- 
mans were  drinking  lager  beer,  singing  songs,  and 
smoking  their  meerschanms.  All  work  was  laid 
aside,  and  all  hands  —  farmers  with  their  wives 
and  daughters,  young  men  with  their  sweethearts, 
children  in  crowds  —  were  observing  in  their  va- 
rious ways  the  return  of  the  holiday. 

Our  route  was  by  way  of  La  Crosse,  wliich  we 
reached  late  in  the  evening.  We  were  to  go  up 
the  Mississippi  on  a  steamer  that  lay  moored  to  the 
bank.  Its  cabin  was  aglow  with  lights.  Enter- 
ing  it,  we  found  a  party  of  ladies  and  gentlemen 
formed  for  a  quadrille.  They  were  the  officers  of 
the  boat  and  their  friends  from  the  town.  A  negro 
with  a  bass-viol,  and  two  Germans  with  violins, 
were  tuning  their  instruments  and  rosining  tjieir 
bows.  •   . 

We  were  met  upon  the  threshold  by  a  rosy- 
cheeked  damsel,  who  gleefully  exclaimed,  — 

"  O,  yeau  have  arrived  at  the  right  moment !  We 
are  having  a  riglit  good  time,  and  we  only  want  one 
more  gentleman  to  make  it  go  real  good.  Yeau  11 
dance  neaw,  won't  ye  ?  I  want  a  partner.  0,  ye 
will  neaw.  I  know  ye  will,  and  ye  11  call  off  the 
changes  tew,  won't  ye  ?    Xeaw  dew." 

Not  having  a  "light  fantastic  toe"  on  either 
foot,  we  were  forced  to  say  no  to  this  lively 
La  Crosse  maiden  ;  besides,  we  were  tired  and  cov- 
ered with  dust,  and  in  sad  plight  for  the  ball-room. 


A  member  of  Congress  was  next  appealed  to,  then 
a  grave  and  dignified  Doctor  of  Divinity. 

A  more  ungallant  party  than  ours  never  stood 
on  a  Western  steamboat.  Governor,  judge,  parson, 
members  of  Congress,  all  shook  their  heads  and  > 
resisted  the  enthusiastic  lady.  In  vain  she  urged 
tliem,  and  the  poor  girl,  with  downcast  counte- 
uaii'.'e,  turned  from  the  obdurate  Yankees,  and 
sailed  in  gloriously  with  a  youth  who  fortunately 
entered  tlie  cabin  at  the  moment. 

It  was  a  rare  sight  to  see,  for  they  danced  witli 
a  will.  They  made  the  steamer  shake  from  stem 
to  stern.  The  glass  lamps  tinkled  in  their  brass 
settings,  and  the  doors  of  staterooms  rattled  on 
their  hinges,  especially  when  the  largest  gentle- 
mail  of  the  party  came  to  a  shuffle. 

He  is  the  Daniel  Lambert  of  the  Mississippi,  — 
immense  and  gigantic,  and  having  great  develop- 
ment round  the  equator. 

Quadrille,  cotillon,  and  waltz,  and  genuine  w^est- 
ern  break-downs  followed  one  after  the  other. 
There  was  plenty  to  eat  and  drink  in  the  pantry. 
The  first  thing  we  heard  in  the  evening  was  the 
tuning  of  the  instruments ;  the  last  thing,  as  we 
dropped  off  to  sleep,  was  the  scraping  of  the  vio- 
lins and  the  shuffling  of  feet. 

We  are  awake  in  the  morning  in  season  to  take 
a  look  at  the  place  before  the  boat  casts  off  from 
its  mooring  for  a  trip  to  Winona. 

6       .  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIKE. 

A  company  of  Norwegian  emigrants  that  came 
with  lis  on  the  train  from  Chicago  are  cooking 
their  breakfast  in  and  around  the  station.  They 
sailed  from  Christiania  for  Quebec,  and  have  been 
six  weeks  on  the  way.  All  ages  are  represented. 
It  is  a  party  made  up  of  families.  There  are 
many  light-haired  maidens  among  them  with  deep 
blue  eyes  and  blonde  complexions ;  and  robust 
young  men  with  honest  faces,  who  have  bidden 
farewell  forever  to  their  old  homes  upon  the  fiords 
of  Norway,  and  who  henceforth  are  to  be  citizens 
of  the  United  States. 

They  will  find  immediate  employment  on  the 
railroads  of  Minnesota,  in  the  construction  of  new 
lines.  They  are  not  hired  by  the  day,  but  small 
sections  are  let  out  to  individuals,  who  receive 
a  specified  sum  for  every  square  yard  of  earth 
thrown  up. 

There  is  no  discussion  of  the  eight-hour  ques- 
tion among  them.  They  work  sixteen  hours  of 
their  own  accord,  instead  of  haggling  over  eight. 
They  have  no  time  to  engage  in  rows,  nor  do  they 
find  occasion.  They  have  had  a  bare  existence 
in  their  old  home ;  life  there  was  ever  a  strug- 
gle, the  mere  keeping  together  of  soul  and  body, 
but  here  Hope  leads  them  on.  They  are  poor 
now,  but  a  few  years  hence  they  will  be  well  off 
in  the  world.  They  will  have  farms,  nice  houses, 
money  in  banks,  government  bonds,  and  railway 


stocks.  They  will  obtain  land  at  government  price, 
will  raise  wheat,  wool,  or  stock,  and  will  soon  find 
their  land  quadrupled  in  value.  They  will  make 
excellent  citizens.  Their  hearts  are  on  the  right 
side,  —  not  physiologically,  but  morally,  politi- 
cally, and  religiously  speaking.  They  are  ardent 
lovers  of  liberty ;  they  cannot  be  trammelled  by 
any  shackles,  political  or  ecclesiastical.  They  are 
frugal,  industrious,  and  honest.  Already  tliere 
are  several  daily  papers  published  in  the  Scandi- 
navian language. 

The  steamer  is  ploughing  the  Mississippi 
against  the  current  northward.  Wisconsin  is  on 
our  right,  Minnesota  on  our  left ;  and  while  we  are 
moving  on  toward  the  region  of  country  which  we 
are  to  visit,  we  may  while  away  the  time  by 
thinking  over  the  general  characteristics  of  the 
State  of  Minnesota,  in  which  our  explorations  are 
to  commence. 

The  southern  boundary  strikes  the  river  twenty- 
two  miles  below  La  Crosse.  If  I  were  to  go  down 
ther^  and  turn  my  steps  due  west,  I  might  walk 
two  hundred  and  sixty-four  miles  along  the  Iowa 
line  before  reaching  the  southwestern  corner  of 
the  State.  The  western  side  is  the  longest,  and 
if  I  were  to  start  from  the  southwestern  corner 
and  travel  due  north,  I  should  have  a  journey 
of  three  hundred  and  sixty  miles  to  accom- 
plish before  reaching  the  northern  boundary, — 


the  line  between  the  United  States  and  British 

Starting  from  Pembina,  at  the  northwest  corner 
of  the  State,  on  the  Eed  Eiver  of  the  North,  and 
travelUng  due  east  eighty  miles,  I  should  reach 
the  Lake  of  the  Woods ;  sailing  across  it  sixty 
miles,  then  entering  the  river  leading  to  Eainy 
Lake,  I  might  pass  through  the  wonderful  water- 
way of  lakes  and  rivers  reaching  to  Lake  Supe- 
rior,—  a  distance  of  about  four  hundred  miles. 

The  eastern  boundary  formed  by  the  Mississippi, 
St.  Croix,  and  Lake  Superior  is  more  irregular. 
Its  general  outline,  as  we  look  at  it  upon  the  map, 
is  that  of  a  crescent,  cutting  into  Minnesota,  the 
horns  turned  eastward.  The  area  within  the  boun- 
daries thus  described  is  estimated  at  84,000  square 
miles,  or  54,760,000  acres.  It  is  a  territory  larger 
than  Maine,  New  Hampshire,  Vermont,  Massachu- 
setts, Ehode  Island,  and  Connecticut  combined. 

Here,  upon  the  Mississippi,  I  gaze  upon  bluffs 
of  gray  limestone  wrought  into  fantastic  shape  by 
the  winds  and  storms  of  centuries  and  by  the 
slow  wearing  of  the  river ;  but  were  I  to  climb 
them,  and  gain  the  general  level  of  the  country,  1 
should  behold  rolling  prairies  dotted  with  lakes 
and  ponds  of  pure  water,  and  groves  of  oak  and 
hickory.  All  of  Minnesota  east  of  the  Mississippi 
is  a  timbered  region.  Here  and  there  are  open- 
ings; but,  speaking  in  general  terms,  the  entire 


country  east  of  tlie  river  is  a  forest,  which  through 
the  coming  years  will  resound  with  the  axe  of 
the  lumberman. 

When  we  go  up  the  Mississippi  eighty  miles 
above  St.  Paul  to  St.  Cloud,  we  shall  find  the  Sauk 
Tiiver  coming  in  from  the  west ;  and  there  the  Mis- 
sissippi is  no  longer  the  boundary  of  the  timbered 
lands,  but  tlie  forest  reaches  across  the  stream 
westward  to  Otter-Tail  Eiver,  a  distance  of  more 
than  one  hundred  miles.  The  Sauk  Eiver  is  its 
southern  boundary. 

All  the  region  north  of  the  Sauk,  at  the  head- 
waters of  the  Mississippi  and  north  of  Lake  Supe- 
rior, is  well  supplied  with  timber.  A  belt  of  woods 
forty  miles  wide,  starting  from  the  Crow-Wing 
liiver,  extends  south  nearly  to  the  Iowa  boundary. 
It  is  broken  here  and  there  by  prairie  openings 
and  fertile  meadows.  The  tract  is  knowai  through- 
out the  Northwest  as  the  region  of  the  "  Big 

There  are  fringes  of  timber  along  the  streams, 
so  that  the  settler,  wherever  he  may  wish  to  make 
a  home,  will  generally  find  material  for  building 
purposes  within  easy  reach.  In  this  respect  Min- 
nesota is  one  of  the  most  favored  States  of  the 

The  formations  of  the  bluffs  now  and  then  re- 
mind us  of  old  castles  upon  the  Eliine.  They 
are,  upon  an  a\erage,  three  hundred  and  fifty  feet 


above  the  summer  level  of  the  river.  "We  are  far 
from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  yet  the  river  at  St.  Paul 
is  only  six  hundred  and  seventy-six  feet  above  tide- 

Northward  of  Minneapolis  the  bluffs  disappear, 
and  the  surface  of  the  river  is  but  a  few  feet  below 
the  general  level  of  the  country,  which  is  about 
one  thousand  feet  above  the  sea. 

It  is  one  of  the  remarkable  topographical  fea- 
tures of  the  continent,  that  from  St.  Paul  to  the 
Peace  River,  which  empties  into  the  Athabasca, 
the  elevation  is  about  the  same,  though  the  dis- 
tance is  more  than  one  thousand  miles.  Through- 
out this  great  extent  of  territory,  especially  in  Min- 
nesota, are  innumerable  lakes  and  ponds  of  pure 
fresh  water,  some  of  them  having  no  visible  outlet 
or  inlet,  with  pebbly  shores  and  beaches  of  white 
sand,  bordered  by  groves  and  parks  of  oak,  ash, 
and  maple,  lending  an  indescribable  charm  to  the 
beauty  of  the  landscape. 

While  we  are  making  these  observations  the 
steamer  is  nearing  Winona,  a  pleasant  town,  de- 
lightfully situated  on  a  low  prairie,  elevated  but  a 
few  feet  above  the  river.  The  bluffs  at  this  point 
recede,  giving  ample  room  for  a  town  site  with  a 
ravine  behind  it. 

Nature  has  done  a  great  deal  for  the  place,  — 
scooping  out  the  ravine  as  if  the  sole  purpose  had 
been  to  make  the  construction  of  a  railroad  an 


easy  matter.  The  Winona  and  St.  Peter's  Railway 
strikes  out  from  tlie  town  over  the  prairie,  whids 
through  the  ravine,  and  by  easy  grades  gains  the 
rolling  country  beyond.  The  road  is  nearly  com- 
pleted to  the  Minnesota  Eiver,  one  hundred  and 
forty  miles.  It  will  eventually  be  extended  to  the 
western  boundary  of  the  State,  and  onward  into 
Dakota.  It  is  now  owned  by  the  Chicago  and 
Northwestern  Eailway  Company,  and  runs  through 
the  centre  of  the  second  tier  of  counties  in  the 
State.  The  Southern  Minnesota  Railroad  starts 
from  La  Crosse,  and  runs  west  through  the  first 
tier  of  counties.  It  is  already  constructed  half- 
way across  the  State,  and  will  be  pushed  on,  as 
civilization  advances,  to  the  Missouri.  That  is  the 
objective  point  of  all  the  lines  of  raihvay  leading 
west  from  the  Mississippi,  and  they  will  soon  be 

This  city  of  Winona  fifteen  years  ago  had  about 
one  hundred  inhabitants.  It  was  a  place  where 
steamers  stopped  to  take  wood  and  discharge  a 
few  packages  of  freight,  but  to-day  it  has  a  popu- 
lation of  nine  thousand.  Looking  out  upon  it  from 
the  promenade  deck  of  the  steamer,  we  see  new 
buildings  going  up,  and  can  hear  the  hammers  and 
saws  of  the  carpenters.  It  already  contains  thir- 
teen churches  and  a  Normal  School  with  three 
hundred  scholars,  who  are  preparing  to  teach  the 
children  of  the  State,  though  the  probabilities  are 


that  most  of  them  will  soon  teach  their  own  off- 
spring instead  of  tlieir  neighbors' ;  for  in  the  West 
young  men  are  plenty,  maidens  scarce.  Out 
here  — 

'•  There  is  no  goose  so  gray  hut  soon  or  late 
Will  find  some  honest  gander  for  her  mate." 

Not  so  in  the  East,  for  the  young  men  there  are 
pushing  west,  and  women  are  in  tlie  majority.  It 
is  a  certainty  that  some  of  them  will  know  more 
of  single  blessedness  than  of  married  life.  If  they 
would  only  come  out  here,  tlie  certainty  would  be 
the  other  way. 

Not  stopping  at  AVinona,  but  hastening  on  board 
the  train,  we  fly  over  the  prairie,  up  the  ravine, 
and  out  through  one  of  the  most  fertile  sections 
of  the  great  grain-field  of  the  Northwest. 

The  superintendent  of  the  road,  Mr.  Stewart, 
accompanies  our  party,  and  we  receive  pleasure 
and  profit  by  having  a  gentleman  with  us  who  is 
so  thoroughly  informed  as  he  to  point  out  the  ob- 
jects of  interest  along  the  way.  By  a  winding  road, 
now  running  under  a  high  bluff  where  the  lime- 
stone ledges  overhang  the  track,  now  gliding  over 
a  high  trestle-bridge  from  the  northern  to  the 
southern  side  of  the  deep  ravine,  we  gain  at  length 
the  general  table-land,  and  behold,  reaching  as  far 
as  the  eye  can  see,  fields  of  wheat.  Fences  are 
visible  here  and  there,  showing  the  division  of 
farms ;  but  there  is  scarcely  a  break  in  the  sea  of 


grain,  in  iiower  now,  rippling  and  waving  in  the 
passing  breeze.  Farm-houses  dot  the  landscape, 
and  white  cottages  are  embowered  in  surrounding 
iiroves,  and  here  and  there  we  detect  a  small 
patch  of  corn  or  an  acre  of  potatoes,  —  small  isl- 
ands these  in  the  great  ocean  of  wheat  reaching 
\\X'stward,  northward,  and  southward. 

We  are  astonislied  when  the  train  nears  St. 
(Jliarles,  a  town  of  two  tliousand  inhabitants,  look- 
ing marvellously  like  a  New  England  village,  to 
see  a  school-house  just  completed  at  a  cost  of 
S  15,000  !  and  still  wider  open  we  our  eyes  at 
liochester,  with  a  population  of  six  thousand,  where 
we  behold  a  school-building  that  has  cost  860,000! 
Upon  inquiry  we  ascertain  that  tlie  bulk  of  the 
population  of  these  towns  is  from  New  England. 

A  ride  of  about  ninety  miles  brings  us  to  Owa- 
tona,  a  town  of  about  three  thousand  inhabitants. 

We  are  in'  Steele  County.  The  little  rivulets 
here  meandering  through  the  prairie  and  flowing 
southward  reach  the  Mississippi  only  after  crossing 
the  State  of  Iowa,  while  those  running  northward 
join  the  Mississippi  through  the  Minnesota  Eiver. 

Here,  as  at  Eochester,  we  behold  charming  land- 
scapes, immense  fields  of  grain,  groves  of  trees, 
snug  cottages  and  farm-houses,  and  a  thrifty  town. 
Owatona  has  a  school-house  that  cost  the  citizens 
%  20,000  ;  yet  nine  years  ago  the  population  of 
the  entire  county  was  only  2,862  !    The  census  of 


1870  will  probably  make  it  15,000.  So  civiliza- 
tion advances,  not  only  here,  but  all  through  the 
Northwest,  especially  where  there  are  railroad  fa- 


From  Owatona  we  turn  north  and  pass  through 
Rice  County,  containing  eighteen  townships.  It  is 
one  of  the  best-timbered  counties  west  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi ;  there  are  large  tracts  of  oak,  maj^le,  but- 
ternut, walnut,  poplar,  elm,  and  boxwood.  We 
glide  through  belts  of  timber  where  choppers  are 
felling  the  trees  for  railroad  ties,  past  fields  where 
the  industrious  husbandman  has  turned  the  natu- 
ral grasses  of  the  prairie  into  l)looming  clover. 

At  Faribault  a  company  of  Norwegians,  recently 
arrived  from  their  homes  beyond  the  sea,  and  not 
having  reached  their  journey's  end,  are  cooking 
their  supper  near  the  station.  To-morrow  they 
will  be  pushing  on  westward  to  the  grounds  al- 
ready purchased  by  the  agent  who  has  brought 
them  out. 

In  1850  this  entire  county  had  only  one  hundred 
inhabitants  ;  the  census  of  next  year  will  probably 
show  a  population  of  twenty-five  thousand,  —  one 
half  Americans,  one  sixth  Germans,  one  ninth 
Irish,  besides  Norwegians,  Swedes,  i^nd  Canadians. 
Faribault  has  about  four  thousand  inhabitants, 
who  have  laid  excellent  foundations  for  future 
growth.  They  have  an  Episcopal  College,  a  High 
School  for  ladies,  a  Theological  Seminary,  a  Deaf 


and  Dumb  Asylum,  two  Congregational  churches, 
also  one  15ai)tist,  one  Methodist,  and  one  Episco- 
pal. They  have  excelleht  water-power  on  the 
Cannon  River.  Five  llouriug-mills  have  already 
been  erected. 

Fourteen  miles  beyond  this  place  we  find  North- 
field  witli  three  thousand  inhabitants,  three  fourths 
of  them  New-Englanders.  Five  churches  and  a 
college,  two  flouring-mills  capable  of  turning  out 
one  hundred  thousand  barrels  per  annum,  excellent 
schools,  a  go-ahead  population,  are  the  characteris- 
tics of  this  thoroughly  wide-awake  town. 

A  mile  or  two  beyond  Northfield  we  enter  Da- 
kota County,  —  one  of  the  most  fertile  in  the 
State.  It  was  one  of  the  first  settled,  ai'd  in  1860 
contained  9,058  inhabitants.  Its  present  popula- 
tion is  estimated  at  20,000,  —  one  third  of  them 
Irish,  one  third  Americans,  one  quarter  Germans, 
and  the  remainder  of  all  nationalities.  The  lar- 
gest town  is  Hastings,  on  the  Mississippi,  contain- 
ing about  four  thousand  inhabitants.  The  Has- 
tings and  Dakota  Railroad,  extending  west,  crosses 
the  Milwaukie  and  St.  Paul  at  Farmington,  a 
pleasant  little  town  located  on  a  green  and  fertile 
prairie.  Thirty  miles  of  this  Hastings  and  Dakota 
road  are  in  operation,  and  it  is  pushing  on  west- 
ward, like  all  the  others,  to  reach  the  territory  of 
Dakota  and  the  Missouri  River. 

On  over  the  prairies  we  fly,  reaching  the  oldest 


town  in  the  State,  Mendota,  which  was  a  trading- 
post  of  the  American  Fur  Company  as  long  ago  as 
1828.  It  was  liveher  then  than  now,  for  in  those 
ysfctrs  Indians  by  the  thousand  made  it  their  ren- 
dezvous, coming  in  their  bark  canoes  down  the 
Minnesota  from  the  borders  of  Dakota,  down  the 
St.  Croix,  which  joins  the  Mississippi  opposite 
Hastings,  down  the  Mississippi  from  all  the  region 
above  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony ;  but  now  it  is  a 
seedy  place.  The  houses  have  a  forlorn  look,  and 
the  three  hundred  Irish  and  Germans  that  make 
up  the  bulk  of  the  population  are  not  of  the  class 
that  lay  the  foundations  of  empires,  or  make  the 
wilderness  bud  and  blossom  with  roses  ;  they  take 
life  easy,  and  let  to-day  wait  on  to-morrow. 

Fort  Snelling,  admirably  located,  looms  grand- 
ly above  the  high  steep  bluff  of  the  northern 
bank  of  the  Minnesota  Eiver.  It  was  one  of  the 
strongest  posts  on  the  frontier,  but  it  is  as  useless 
now  as  a  last  year's  swallow's-nest.  The  frontier 
is  three  hundred  miles  farther  on. 
.  ■  Upon  the  early  maps  of  Minnesota  I  find  a  mag- 
nificent city  occupying  the  surrounding  ground. 
It  was  surveyed  and  plotted,  but  St.  Paul  and 
Minneapolis  got  ahead,  and  the  city  of  Snelling 
has  no  place  in  history. 

We  approach  St.  Paul  from  the  south.  Stepping 
from  the  cars  we  find  ourselves  on  the  loAvlands  of 
the  Mississippi,  with  a  high  bluff  south  of  us,  and 


a.  I  'ler  on  the  north  bank,  both  rising  perpendicu- 
larly from  the  river.     We  ride  over  a  long  wooden 
bridge,  one  end  of  which  rests  on  the  low  land  by 
the  railroad  station,  and  the  other  on  the   high 
northern  bluff,  so  that  the  structure  is  inclined  at 
an  angle  of  about  twenty  degrees,  like  the  drive- 
way to  a  New  England   barn  where  the  floor  is 
nearly  up  to  the  high  beams.     We  are  in  a  city 
which  in  1849,  twenty  years  ago,  liad  a  population 
of  eight  hundred  and  forty,  l)ut  which  now  has 
an  estimated  population  of  twenty-five  thousand. 
Here  that  powerful  tribe  of  Northern  Indians,  the 
Dakotas,  had  their  capital,  —  a  cave  in  the  sand- 
stone bluffs,  which  was  the  council-chamber  of  the 
tribe.     Upon  the  bluff  now  stands  the  capital  of 
the  State,  and  the  sanguine  citizens  believe  that 
the  city  is  to  be  the  commercial  metropolis  of  the 
Northwest.    A  few  months  ago  I  was  on  the  other 
side  of  the  globe,  where  civilization  is  at  a  stand- 
still ;  where  communities  exist,  but  scarcely  change ; 
where  decay  is  quite  as  probable  as  growth  ;  where 
advancement  is  the  exception,  and  not  the  rule.    To 
ride  through  the  streets  of  St.  Paul ;  to  behold  its 
spacious   warehouses,   its    elegant   edifices,   stores 
piled  with  the  goods  of  all  lands,  the  products  of 
all  climes,  —  furs  from  Hudson  Bay,  oranges  from 
Messina,  teas  from  China,  coffee  from  Brazil,  silks 
from  Paris,  and  all  the  products  of  industry  from 
our  own  land ;  to  behold  the  streets  alive  with 

18       .  THE   SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 

people,  crowded  with  farmers'  wagons  laden  witli 
wheat  and  flour ;  to  read  the  signs,  "  Young  Men's 
Christian  Association,*'  "  St.  Paul  Library  Associa- 
tion "  ;  to  see  elegant  school-edifices  and  churches, 
beautiful  private  residences  surrounded  by  lawns 
and  adorned  with  works  of  art,  —  to  see  this  in 
contrast  with  what  we  have  so  lately  witnessed, 
and  to  think  that  this  is  the  development  of 
American  civilization,  going  on  now  as  never 
before,  and  destined  to  continue  till  all  this  wide 
region  is  to  be  thus  dotted  over  with  centres  of 
infhience  and  power,  sends  an  indescribable  thrill 
through  our  veins.  It  is  not  merely  that  we  are 
Americans,  but  because  in  this  land  Christian  civi- 
lization is  attaining  the  highest  development  of  all 
time.  The  people  of  St.  Paul  may  justly  take 
pride  in  what  they  have  already  accomplished,  and 
they  also  have  reason  to  look  forward  with  confi- 
dence to  the  future. 

The  county  is  quite  small,  containing  only  four 
and  a  half  townships.  The  soil  is  poor,  a  sandy 
loam,  of  not  much  account  for  farming  purposes, 
but  being  at  the  head  of  steamboat  navigation  a 
good  start  was  obtained  ;  and  now  that  railroads 
are  superseding  steamboats,  St.  Paul  reaches  out 
her  iron  arms  in  every  direction,  —  up  the  Missis- 
sippi to  St.  Cloud,  westward  through  Minneapohs 
to  the  Eed  Eiver  of  the  North,  southwest  to  touch 
the  Missouri  at  Sioux  City,  due  south  over  the  line 


by  which  we  reached  the  city,  down  the  river  to- 
w^ards  Chicago,  and  northeast  to  Lake  Superior. 
As  a  spider  extends  its  threads,  so  St.  Paul,  or  per- 
haps, more  properly  speaking,  St.  Paul  and  Minne- 
apolis together,  are  throwing  out  their  lines  of 
communication,  making  themselves  the  centre  of 
tlie  great  Northwest  systems  of  railways.  The  in- 
terests of  St.  Paul  are  mercantile,  those  of  Minne- 
apolis manufacturing.  Tliey  are  nearly  five  hun- 
dred miles  distant  from  Chicago,  —  far  enough  to 
be  an  independent  commercial,  manufacturing,  and 
distributing  centre.  That  such  is  to  be  their  des- 
tiny cannot  be  doubted. 

The  outfit  of  our  party  had  been  prepared  at 
Minneapolis ;  and  a  large  number  of  gentlemen 
from  that  city  made  their  appearance  at  St.  Paul, 
to  convey  us  to  the  town  in  their  own  private 

It  is  a  charming  ride  that  we  have  along  the 
eastern  bank  of  the  Mississippi,  which  pours  its 
miglity  flood,  —  mighty  even  here,  though  so  far 
away  from  the  sea,  —  rolling  and  thundering  far 
below  us  in  the  chasm  which  it  has  worn  in  the 
solid  rock. 

On  our  right  hand  are  fields  of  waving  grain,  and 
white  cottages  half  hidden  in  groves  of  oak  and 
maple.  We  see  I^ew  England  thrift  and  enter- 
prise, for  the  six  States  east  of  the  Hudson  liave 
been  sending  their  wide-awake  sons  and  daughters 


to  this  section  for  the  last  twenty  years.  The  gen- 
tleman with  wlioni  we  are  riding  came  here  from 
the  woods  of  Maine,  a  lumberman  from  the  Penob- 
scot, and  has  been  the  architect  of  his  ow^n  for- 
tune. He  knows  all  about  the  Upper  Mississippi, 
its  tributaries,  and  the  chain  of  lakes  lying  north- 
w^est  of  Lake  Superior.  He  is  Mayor  of  Minne- 
apolis, a  substantial  citizen,  his  hand  ready  for  every 
good  work,  —  for  the  building  of  schools  and 
churches,  for  charity  and  benevolence  ;  but  on  the 
Upper  Mississippi  he  wears  a  red  shirt,  eats  pork 
and  beans,  and  sleeps  on  pine  boughs.  He  directs 
the  labor  of  hundreds  of  wood-choppers  and  rafts- 

How  different  this  from  what  w^e  see  in  other 
lands  !  I  find  my  pen  runs  on  contrasts.  How 
can  one  help  it  after  seeing  that  gorgeous  and 
lumbering  old  carriage  in  which  the  Lord  Mayor 
of  London  rides  from  Guildhall  to  Westminster  ? 
The  Lord  Mayor  himself  appears  in  a  scarlet 
cloak  not  half  so  becoming  as  a  red  shirt.  He 
wears  a  massive  gold  chain,  and  a  hat  which  would 
be  most  in  place  on  the  stage  of  a  theatre,  and 
which  would  make  him  a  guy  in  any  American 
town.  Not  so  do  the  Lord  Mayors  of  the  North- 
west appear  in  public.  They  understand  practical 
life.  It  is  one  of  the  characteristics  of  our  demo- 
cratic government  that  it  makes  people  practical 
in  all  things. 


In  1865  the  town  of  Minneapolis  contained 
only  4,607  inhabitants,  but  the  population  by  the 
census  of  the  present  year  is  13,080. 

The  fall  in  the  river  at  this  point  is  sixty-four 
feet,  furnishing  120,000  horse-power,  —  more  than 
sufficient  to  drive  every  mill-wheel  and  factory  in 
New  England,  and,  according  to  Wheelock's  Eeport, 
greater  than  the  whole  motive-power  —  steam  and 
water  —  employed  in  textile  manufactures  in  Eng- 
land in  1850.  Thirteen  flouring-mills,  fourteen  saw- 
mills, two  woollen-mills,  and  two  paper-mills,  are 
already  erected.  Six  million  dollars  have  been  in- 
vested in  manufacturing  at  this  point.  The  only 
difficulty  to  be  encountered  is  the  preservation  of 
the  falls  in  their  present  position.  Beneath  the 
slate  rock  over  which  the  torrent  pours  is  a  strata 
of  soft  sandstone,  which  rapidly  wears  away. 
Measures  have  been  taken,  however,  to  preserve 
the  cataract  in  its  present  condition,  by  construct- 
ing an  apron  to  carry  the  water  some  distance 
beyond  the  verge  of  the  faU  and  thus  prevent  the 
breaking  away  of  the  rock. 

No  one  can  behold  the  natural  advantages  at 
Minneapolis  without  coming  to  the  conclusion  that 
it  is  to  be  one  of  the  great  manufacturing  cities  of 
the  world  if  the  fall  can  be  kept  in  its  present 
position.  Cotton  can  be  loaded  upon  steamers 
at  Memphis,  and  discharged  at  St.  Paul.  The  cli- 
mate here  is  exceedingly  favorable  for  the  manu- 


facturing  of  cotton  goods.  The  lumber-mills  by 
and  by  will  give  place  to  other  manufactures,  and 
Minneapolis  will  rank  with  Lowell  or  Fall  Iliver. 

Our  ride  brings  us  to  St.  Anthony  on  the  east 
bank  of  the  river,  where  we  behold  the  Mississippi 
roaring  and  tumbling  over  the  slate-stone  ledges, 
and  hear  the  buzzing  and  humming  of  the  ma- 
chinery in  the  saw-mills. 

St.  Anthony  was  one  of  the  earliest  -  settled 
towns  in  the  State.  Its  projectors  w^ere  Southern 
men.  Streets  were  laid  out,  stores  erected,  a  great 
hotel  built,  and  extravagant  prices  asked  for  land, 
but  the  owners  of  Minneapolis  offered  lots  at 
cheaper  rates,  and  found  purchasers.  The  war 
came  on,  and  the  proprietors  of  St.  Anthony  being 
largely  from  the  South,  the  place  ceased  to  grow, 
while  its  rival  on  the  western  shore  moved  steadily 
onward  in  a  prosperous  career.  But  St.  Anthony 
is  again  advancing,  for  many  gentlemen  doing 
business  in  Minneapolis  reside  there.  The  inter- 
ests of  the  two  places  are  identical,  and  will  ad- 
vance together. 

How  can  one  describe  what  is  indescribable? 
I  can  only  speak  of  this  city  as  situated  on  a 
beautiful  plain,  with  the  Mississippi  thundering 
over  a  cataract  with  a  power  sufficient  to  build  up 
half  a  dozen  Lowells ;  with  a  country  behind  it 
where  every  acre  of  land  as  far  as  the  eye  can  see, 
and  a  hundred  or  a  thousand  times  farther,  is  capa- 


Ijle  of  cultivation  and  of  supporting  a  population  as 
dense  as  that  of  Belgium  or  China.  Wide  streets, 
costly  school-houses,  church  spires,  a  commu- 
nity in  which  the  'New  England  element  largely 
predominates,  —  a  city  where  every  other  door 
does  not  open  to  a  lager-heer  saloon,  as  in  some 
Western  towns ;  where  the  sound  of  the  saw  and 
the  hammer,  and  the  click  of  the  mason's  trowel 
and  sledge,  are  heard  from  morning  till  night ; 
where  the  streets  are  filled  with  wagons  from  the 
country,  bringing  in  grain  and  carrying  hack  lum- 
ber, with  the  farmer,  his  wife  and  buxom  daughter, 
and  tow-headed,  bright-faced  little  boys  perched 
on  top  —  such  are  the  characteristics  of  Minne- 

There  was  a  time  when  Pegasus  was  put  in  har- 
ness, and  the  ancients,  according  to  fable,  tried  to 
put  Hercules  to  work.  If  those  days  of  classic  story 
have  gone  by,  better  ones  have  come,  for  the  peo- 
ple of  Minneapolis  have  got  the  Father  of  Waters 
in  liarness.  He  is  cutting  out  one  hundred  million 
feet  of  lumber  per  annum  here.  I  can  hear  him 
spinning  his  saws.  He  is  turning  a  score  of  mill- 
stones, and  setting  a  million  or  two  of  spindles  in 
motion,  and  pretty  soon  some  of  the  citizens  in- 
tend to  set  him  to  w^eaving  bags  and  cloth  by  the 
hundred  thousand  yards  !  Only  a  tithe  of  his 
strength  is  yet  laid  out.  These  men,  reared  in 
the  East,  and  developed  in  the  West,  will  make 


the  old  Father  work  for  them  henceforth.  He  will 
not  be  allowed  to  idle  away  liis  time  by  leaping 
and  laughing  year  in  and  year  out  over  yonder 
cataract.  He  nmst  work  for  the  good  of  the 
human  race.  They  will  use  him  for  the  building 
of  a  great  mart  of  industry,  —  for  the  erection  of 
houses  and  homes,  the  abodes  of  comfort  and 
happiness  and  of  joyful  and  peaceful  life. 




ST.  CLOUD  was  the  rendezvous  of  the  party, 
where  a  grand  ovation  awaited  us,  —  a  band 
of  music  at  the  station,  a  dinner  at  the  hotel,  a 
ride  to  Sauk  Rapids,  two  miles  above  the  town. 

St.  Cloud  is  eighty  miles  above  St.  Paul,  situated 
on  the  west  bank  of  the  river,  and  is  reached  by 
the  St.  Paul  and  Pacific  Railroad.  The  goods  of 
the  Hudson  Bay  Company  pass  through  the  town. 
Three  hundred  tons  per  annum  are  shipped  from 
Liverpool  to  Montreal,  from  Montreal  to  Milwau- 
kie,  from  Milwaukie  by  rail  to  this  point,  and 
from  hence  are  transported  by  oxen  to  the  Red 
River,  taken  down  that  stream  on  a  small  st'^amer 
to  Lake  Winnipeg,  then  sent  in  boats  and  canoes 
lip  the  Assinniboin,  the  Saskatchawan,  and  to  all 
the  numerous  trading-posts  between  AVinnipeg  and 
the  Arctic  Ocean. 

We  are  getting  towards  the  frontier.     We  come 

upon  frontiersmen  in  leggings,  slouch  hat,  and  fur 

coat,  —  carrying  their  rifles.      Indians  are  riding 

heir  ponies.    Wigwams  are  seen  in  the  groves. 

^arts  are  here  from  Pembina  and  Fort  Garry  after 



26  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

And  yet,  in  the  suburbs  of  the  town  we  see  a 
large  Normal  School  building  just  completed.  A 
magnificent  bridge  costing  S  4(),0()0  spans  the  Mis- 
sissippi. At  Sauk  Eapids  the  river  rolls  over  a 
granite  ledge,  and  a  chartered  water-power  com- 
pany is  erecting  a  dam,  constructing  a  canal,  and 
laying  the  foundations  for  the  second  great  man- 
ufacturing city  upon  the  Mississippi. 

This  section  has  been  a  favorite  locality  for 
German  emigrants.  Nearly  one  half  of  the  inhab- 
itants of  Stearns  County,  of  which  St.  Cloud  is  the 
county-seat,  are  Germans.  Here  we  bid  good  by 
to  the  locomotive  and  take  the  saddle  instead,  with 
light  caniages  for  occasional  change. 

We  leave  hotels  behind,  and  are  to  enjoy  the 
pleasures  of  camp-life. 

Our  party  as  made  up  consists  of  the  following 
persons :  —  v 

Q-ov.  J.  Gregory  Smith,  St,  Albans,  Vt. 
W.  C.  Smith,  M.  C.  "  " 

W.  H.  Lord,  D.  D.,  Montpelier,  Vt. 

F.  E.  WooDBRTDGK,  VergeniiGS,  Vt. 

.     S.  W.  Thayer,  M.  D.,  Burlington,  Yt. 
Hon.  R.  D.  Rice,  Augusta,  Me. 

'^^  P.  COBURN,  "  '<  .A 

E.  F.  Johnson,  MiddletoAvn,  Conn. 

C.  C.  Coffin,  Boston. 

P.  W.  PIoLMES,  New  York  City. 

A.  B.  Baylkss,  Jr.,  New  York  City. 

W.  R.  Marshall,  St.  Paul,  Gov.  of  Minnesota. 

E.  M.  Wilson,  M.  C,  Minneapolis. 

G.  A.  Brackett,  " 

ST.  CLOUD   AND    BEYOND.  27 

The  list  is  headed  by  Ex-Governor  Smith,  Presi- 
dent of  the  Nortliern  Pacific  liaih'oad  and  of  the 
Vermont  Central.  It  fell  to  liis  lot  to  be  Chief 
Magistrate  of  the  Green  ^lountain  State  during 
the  rebellion,  and  among  all  the  loyal  governors 
there  was  no  one  that  excelled  him  in  energy  and 
executive  force.  He  was  here,  there,  and  every- 
^vhere,  —  one  day  in  Vermont,  the  next  in  Wash- 
ington, the  third  in  the  rear  of  the  army  looking 
after  the  wounded,  I  remember  seeing  him  at 
Fredericksburg  during  those  terrible  w^eeks  that 
followed  the  struggles  at  the  Wilderness  and 
Spottsylvania,  —  directing  his  assistants,  laboring 
with  his  own  hands,  —  hunting  up  the  sick  and 
wounded,  giving  up  his  own  cot,  sleeping  on  the 
bare  floor,  or  not  sleeping  at  all,  —  cheering  the 
despondent,  writing  sympathetic  letters  to  fathers 
and  mothers  whose  sons  w^ere  in  the  hospital,  or 
who  had  given  their  lives  to  their  country.  He 
has  taken  hold  of  this  great  eixterprise  —  the  con- 
struction of  a  railroad  across  the  continent  from 
the  Lakes  to  the  Pacific  Ocean  —  with  like  zeal 
and  energy,  and  has  organized  this  expedition  to 
explore  the  country  between  Lake  Superior  and 
the  Missouri  Eiver. 

Judge  Eice  is  from  Maine.  He  is  President  of 
the  Portland  and  Kennebec  Eailroad,  and  a  director 
of  the  Northern  Pacific.  xJefore  engaging  in  the 
management  of  railroads  he  held,  for  sixteen  years, 

28  tup:  seat  of  empire. 

the  lionoraMe  and  responsiljle  positic-n  of  Associate 
Judf!je  of  tlie  Supreme  Court  of  Maine.  Well 
versed  in  law,  and  holding  the  scales  of  justice 
evenly,  his  decisions  have  been  regardyJ  as  wise 
and  just. 

Mr.  Johnson  is  the  Chief  Engineer  of  the  road, 
one  of  the  ablest  i\i  liis  profession  in  the  country. 
As  long  ago  as  1853,  before  the  government  sur- 
veys were  made,  he  published  a  pamphlet  upon 
this  future  highway  to  the  Pacific,  in  which  he 
discussed  with  great  ability  the  physical  geogra- 
phy of  the  cuLiiitry,  not  only  from  Lake  Superior 
to  Puget  Sound,  but  the  entire  region  between  the 
Mississippi  and  the  Pacific.  The  explorations  that 
have  since  been  made  correspond  almost  exactly 
with  his  statements. 

The  President  of  the  company  has  showed  fore- 
thought for  the  health,  comfort,  and  pleasure  of  the 
party,  by  taking  along  two  of  the  most  genial  men 
in  Kew  England,  —  Dr.  Thayer,  of.  BurKngton,  to 
cure  us  of  all  the  ills  that  flesh  is  heir  to,  whose 
broad  smiling  face  is  itself  a  most  excellent  medi- 
cine, whose  stories  are  quite  as  good  as  his  pills 
and  powders  for  keeping  our  digestion  all  right; 
and  Rev.  Dr.  Loru,  >om  Montpelier,  for  many  years 
pastor  of  one  of  the  largest  churches  in  the  State. 

With  a  doctor  to  keep  our  bodies  right,  with  a 
minister  to  point  out  the  narrow  way  that  leads  to 
a  brighter  world,  and  both  of  them  as   warm- 

ST.  CLOUD   AND    BEYOND.  29 

liearted  and  genial  as  sunshine,  we  surely  ought  to 
be  in  good  liealth. 

j\Ir.  Holmes,  of  New  York,  is  an  old  campaigner. 
He  had  experienced  the  rough  and  tuml)le  of  life 
on  the  Upper  Missouri,  witli  his  ritle  for  a  com- 
panion, the  earth  his  bed,  the  broad  expanse  of  sky 
his  tent.  • 

Governor  Marshall,  Chief  ^lagistrate  of  Minne- 
sota, IMr.  Wilson,  member  of  Congress  from  the 
same  State,  and  Mr.  Brackett,  of  Minneapolis, 
were  in  Sibley's  expedition  against  the  Indians,  and 
are  accustomed  to  all  the  pleasures  and  hardships 
of  a  campaign.  They  are  to  explore  the  region 
lying  between  the  Ked  River  of  the  North  and 
the  Great  Bend  of  the  ^lissouri.  Mr.  Bayless, 
of  New  York,  accompanies  the  party  to  enjoy  the 
freedom  and  excitement  of  frontier  life.  Nor  are 
we  without  other  company.  Some  of  the  clergy- 
men of  Minnesota,  like  their  brethren  in  other 
parts  of  the  country,  turn  their  backs  on  civiliza- 
tion during  the  summer  months,  and  spend  a  few 
weeks  with  Nature  for  a  teacher.  It  is  related 
that  the  Rev.  Dr.  Bethune  made  it  a  point  to  visit 
^loosehead  Lake  in  Maine  every  season,  to  medi- 
tate in  solitude  and  eat  onions !  He  not  only 
loved  them,  but  had  great  faith  in  their  strength- 
ening po  '^rs.  His  ministry  was  a  perpetual  Lent 
80  far  as  *.  dons  were  concerned,  and  it  was  only 
when  he  bri)ke  away  from  society  and  was  lost  to 


the  world  in  the  forest  that  he  could  partake  freely 
of  his  favorite  vegetable. 

Travelling  the  same  road,  and  keeping  ns  com- 
pany, are  Eev.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Fuller,  of  Eochester, 
and  Eev.  Mr.  and  Lirs.  Williams,  and  Mr.  and 
Miss  Wheaton,  of  Northfield,  Minn.  They  have  a 
prairie  wagon  with  a  covered  top,  drawn  by  two 
horses,  in  which  is  packed  a  tent,  with  pots, 
kettles,  pans,  dishes,  flour,  pork,  beans,  canned 
fruit,  hams,  butter,  bed  and  bedding.  They  have 
saddle-horses  for  excursions,  and  carry  rifles,  shot- 
guns, and  flshing-tackle.  Pulpit,  people  and  par- 
sonage, hoop-skirts,  stove-i)ipe  hats,  work  and 
care,  are  left  behind.  The  women  can  handle  the 
fishing-rod  or  rifle.  It  may  seem  to  ladies  unac- 
customed to  country  life  as  a  great  letting  down 
of  dignity  on  the  part  of  these  women  of  the 
"West  to  enter  upon  such  an  expedition,  but  they 
are  in  search  of  health.  They  are  not  aiming 
to  be  Amazons.  A  few  weeks  upon  the  prairies, 
and  they  will  return  well  browned,  but  healtliful 
and  rugged,  and  as  attractive  and  charming  as  the 
fair  Maud  who  raked  hay  and  dreamed  of  what 
might  have  been.  . 

Our  first  night  is  spent  at  "Camp  Thunder," 
and  why  it  is  so  named  will  presently  be  appar- 
ent. It  is  nearly  night  when  we  leave  St.  Cloud 
for  a  four-mile  ride  to  our  quarters. 

We  can  see  in  the  rays  of  the  setting  sun,  as 

ST.  CLOUD   A^'D  BEYOND.  31 

we  ride  over  tlie  prairie,  our  village  of  white  tents 
pitched  by  tlie  roadside,  and  our  wagons  parked 
near  by.  It  is  an  exhilarating  scene,  bringing 
to  remembrance  the  many  tented  fields  during  the 
war,  and  those  soul-stirring  days  wdien  the  armies 
of  the  Kepublic  marched  under  their  great  leader 
to  victory. 

The  sun  goes  down  through  a  blood-colored 
haze,  throwing  its  departing  beams  upon  a  bank 
of  leaden  clouds  that  lie  along  the  horizon.  Old 
salts  say  that  such  sunsets  in  the  tropics  are  fol- 
lowed by  storms. 

Tlirough  the  evening,  while  sitting  in  the  doors 
of  our  tents  and  talking  of  camp-life  and  its  pleas- 
ant experiences,  we  can  see  faint  flashes  of  light- 
ning along  the  horizon.  The  leaden  clouds  grow 
darker,  and  rise  slowly  up  the  sky.  Through  the 
deepening  haze  we  catch  faint  glimpses  of  celestial 
architecture,  —  castles,  towers,  massive  w^alls,  and 

**  Looming  bastions  fringed  with  fire." 

Far  away  rolls  the  heavy  thunder,  —  so  far  that 
it  seems  the  diapason  of  a  distant  organ.  We  lose 
sight  of  the  gorgeous  palaces,  temples,  and  cathe- 
drals of  tlie  upper  air,  or  we  see  them  only  when 
the  bright  flashes  of  lightning  illume  the  sky. 

It  is  past  midnight,  —  we  have  been  asleep, 
and  are  wakened  by  the  sudden  bursting  of  the 
storm.  The  canvas  roof  and  walls  of  our  house 
flap  suddenly  in  the  wind.     The  cords  are  drawn 


taut  against  the  tent-pins.  The  roof  rises,  set- 
tles, surges  up  and  down,  to  and  fro,  the  walls 
belly  in  and  then  out  against  the  swaying  frame. 
The  rain  comes  in  great  drops,  in  small  drops,  in 
drifting  spray,  rattling  upon  the  canvas  like  a 
hundred  thousand  muskets, — just  as  they  rattled 
and  rolled  on  that  awful  day  at  the  Wilderness 
when  the  two  greatest  armies  ever  gathered  on  this 
continent  met  in  deadly  conflict. 

All  the  while  the  tent  is  as  bridit  with  light- 
ning  as  with  the  sun  at  noonda}^  By  the  side  of 
my  cot  is  a  book  which  I  have  been  reading ;  tak- 
ing it  in  n.y  hand,  I  read  the  finest  print,  noted  the 
hour,  rainuto,  and  position  of  the  second-hand  upon 
my  "watch. 

Looking  out  through  the  opening  of  the  fly,  I 
behold  the  distant  woodland,  the  fences,  the  beard- 
ed grain  laid  prostrate  by  the  blast,  the  rain-drops 
falling  aslant  through  the  air,  the  farm-house  a 
half-mile  distant,  —  all  revealed  by  the  red  glare 
of  the  lightning.  All  the  landscape  is  revealed. 
For  an  instant  I  am  in  darkness,  then  all  apjDears 
again  beneath  the  lurid  light. 

The  storm  grows  wilder.  The  gale  becomes  a 
tempest,  and  increases  to  a  tornado.  The  thunder 
crashes  around,  above,  so  near  that  the  crackling 
follows  in  an  instant  tlie  blinding  flash.  It  rat- 
tles, rolls,  roars,  and  explodes  like  bursting  bombs. 

The  tent  is  reeling.     Knowing  what  will  be  the 

IN    THE    STORM. 



result,  I  hurry  on  my  clothing,  and  have  just  time 
to  seize  an  india-rubber  coat  before  the  pins  are 
pulled  from  the  ground.  I  spring  to  the  pole,  de- 
termined to  hold  on  to  the  last. 

Though  the  lightning  is  so  fearful,  and  the  mo- 
ment well  calculated  to  arouse  solemn  thoughts, 
we  cannot  restrain  our  laughter  when  two  occu- 
pants of  an  adjoining  tent  rush  into  mine  in  the 
condition  of  men  who  have  had  a  sousing  in  a 
pond.  The  wind  pulled  their  tent  up  by  the 
roots,  and  slapped  the  w^et  canvas  down  upon  them 
in  a  twinkling.  They  crawled  out  like  muskrats 
from  their  holes,  —  their  night-shirts  fit  for  mops, 
their  clothing  ready  for  washing,  their  boots  full 
of  water,  their  hats  limp  and  damp  and  ready  for 
moulding  into  corrugated  tiles. 

It  is  a  ludicrous  scene.  I  am  the  central  figure 
inside  the  tent,  —  holding  to  the  pole  with  all  my 
might,  bareheaded,  barefooted,  my  body  at  an 
angle  of  forty-five  degrees,  my  feet  sinking  into 
the  black  mire,  —  the  dripping  canvas  swinging 
and  swaying,  now  lifted  by  the  wind  and  now 
flapping  in  my  face,  and  drenching  anew  two 
members  of  Congress,  who  sit  upon  my  broken- 
down  bed,  shivering  while  vmnging  out  their 
shirts  ! 

'V\Tien  the  fury  of  the  storm  is  over,  I  rush  out 
to  drive  down  the  pins,  and  find  that  my  tent  is  the 
only  one  in  the  encampment  that  is  not  wholly 

2*  0 


prostrated.  The  members  of  the  party  are  stand- 
ing like  skirted  ghosts  in  the  storm.  The  rotund 
form  of  our  M.  D.  is  wrapped  in  the  oil-cloth 
table-cover.  For  the  moment  he  is  a  hydropatb, 
and  complacently  surveys  the  wreck  of  tents.  Tlie 
rain  falls  on  liis  bare  head,  the  water  streams  from 
his  gray  locks,  and  runs  like  a  river  down  his 
broad  back ;  but  he  does  not  1)ow  before  the  blast, 
he  breasts  it  bravely.  I  do  not  hear  him,  but  I 
can  see  by  his  features  that  he  is  silently  singing 
the  Sunday-school  song, — 

"I  '11  stand  tlie  storm, 
It  won't  be  I'oiig." 

Tents,  beds,  bedding,  clothing,  all  are  soppy 
and  moppy,  and  the  ground  a  quagmire.  We 
go  ankle  deep  into  the  mud.  We  might  navigate 
the  prairies  in  a  boat. 

Our  purveyor,  Mr.  Brackett,  an  old  campaigner, 
knows  just  what  to  do  to  make  us  comfortable. 
He  has  a  dry  tent  in  one  of  the  wagons,  which, 
when  the  rain  has  ceased,  is  quickly  set  up.  His 
cook  soon  has  his  coffee-pot  bubbling,  and  with 
hot  coffee  and  a  roaring  fire  we  are  none  the  worse 
for  the  drenching. 

The  storm  has  spent  its  fury,  and  is  passing 
away,  but  the  heavens  are  all  aglow.  Broad 
flashes  sweep  across  the  sky,  flame  up  to  the  ze- 
nith, or  quiver  along  the  horizon.  Bolt  after  bolt 
falls  earthward,  or  flies  from  the  north,  south,  east, 


and  west,  —  from  all  points  of  the  compass,  — 
branching  into  beautiful  forms,  spreading  out  into 
tlireads  and  fibres  of  light,  each  tipped  with  golden 
balls  or  beads  of  brightest  hue,  seen  a  moment, 
then  gone  forever. 

riash  and  flame,  bolt  and  bar,  bead,  ball,  and 
line,  follow  each  other  in  quick  succession,  or  all 
appear  at  once  in  indescribable  beauty  and  fear- 
ful grandeur.  We  can  only  gaze  in  wonder  and 
.admiration,  though  all  but  blinded  by  the  vivid 
flashes,  and  though  each  bolt  may  be  a  messenger 
of  death,  —  though  in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye  the 
spirit  may  be  stricken  from  its  present  tabernacle 
and  sent  upon  its  returnless  flight.  The  display, 
so  magnificent  and  grand,  has  its  only  counterpart 
in  the  picture  which  imagination  paints  of  Sinai 
or  the  final  judgment. 

In  an  adjoining  county  the  storm  was  attended 
by  a  whirlwind.  Houses  w^ere  demolished  and 
several  persons  killed.  It  was  terrifying  to  be  in 
it,  to  hear  the  deafening  thunder ;  but  it  was  a  sight 
worth  seeing,  —  that  glorious  lighting  up  of  the 
arch  of  heaven.  •  ^ 

It  required  half  a  day  of  bright  sunshine  to  put 
tilings  in  trim  after  the  tornado,  and  then  on  Sat- 
urday afternoon  the  party  pushed  on  to  Cold 
Spring  and  encamped  on  the  bank  of  Sauk  Eiver 
for  the  Sabbath. 

The  camp  was  named  "  Jay  Cooke,"  in  honor  of 


the  energetic  banker  who  is  the  financial  agent  of 
the  Northern  Pacific  Railroad  Company.  Sweet, 
calm,  and  peaceful  the  hours.  Religious  services 
were  held,  conducted  by  Rev.  Dr.  Lord,  who  had 
a  flour-barrel  and  a  candle-box  before  him  for  a 
pulpit ;  a  congregation  of  teamsters,  with  people 
from  the  little  village  near  by,  and  the  gentlemen 
composing  our  party,  some  of  us  seated  on  boxes, 
but  most  of  us  sitting  npon  the  ground.  Nor  were 
we  without  a  choir.  Everybody  sung  Old  Hun- 
dred ;  and  though  some  of  us  could  only  sound 
one  note,  and  that  straight  along  from  beginning 
to  end,  like  the  drone  of  a  bagpipe,  it  went  glo- 
riously. Old  Hundred  never  was  sung  with  better 
spirit,  though  there  was  room  for  improvement  of 
the  understanding,  especially  in  the  base.  The 
teamsters,  after  service,  Imnted  turtle-eggs  on  the 
bank  of  the  river,  and  *one  of  them  brought  in  a 
hatful,  which  were  cooked  for  supper. 

Our  course  from  Cold  Spring  was  up  the  Sauk 
Valley  to  Sauk  Centre,  a  lively  town  with  an  excel- 
lent water-power.  The  town  is  about  six  years  old, 
but  its  population  already  numbers  fifteen  hundred. 
The  country  around  it  is  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
and  fertile  imaginable.  The  Sauk  River  is  the 
southern  boundary  of  the  timbered  lands  west  of  the 
Mississippi.  As  we  look  southward,  over  the  mag- 
nificent expanse,  we  see  farm-houses  and  grain- 
fields,  but  on  the  north  bank  are  dense  forests. 

, ,,p« 




ST.  CLOUD  A^'D   BEYOND.  37 

The  prairie  lands  are  already  taken  up  by  settlers, 
while  there  are  many  thousand  acres  of  the  wood- 
ed portion  of  Stearns  County  yet  in  the  posses- 
sion of  the  government.  The  emigrant  can  raise 
a  crop  of  wheat  the  second  year  after  beginning  a 
farm  upon  the  prairies,  while  if  he  goes  into  the 
woods  there  is  the  slow  process  of  clearing  and 
di^Uging  out  of  stumps,  and  a  great  deal  of  hard 
labor  before  he  has  any  returns.  Those  prairie 
lands  that  lie  in  the  immediate  vicinity  of  tim- 
ber are  most  valuable.  The  valley  of  the  Sauk, 
besides  being  exceedingly  fertile,  has  timber  near 
at  hand,  and  has  had  a  rapid  development.  It  is 
an  inviting  section  for  the  capitalist,  trader,  me- 
chanic, or  farmer,  and  its  growth  promises  to  be  as 
rapid  in  the  future  as  it  has  been  since  1865. 

A  two  days'  ride  over  a  magnificent  prairie 
brings  us  to  White  Bear  Lake.  If  we  had  trav- 
elled due  west  from  St.  Cloud,  along  the  township 
lines,  sixty  miles,  we  should  have  found  ourselves 
at  its  southern  shore  instead  of  its  northern.  Our 
camp  for  the  night  was  pitched  on  the  hills  over- 
looking this  sheet  of  water.  The  Vale  of  Tempo 
could  not  have  been  fairer,  and  Arcadia  had  no 
lovelier  scene,  than  that  which  we  gazed  upon 
from  the  green  slope  around  our  tents,  blooming 
with  wdld  roses,  lilies,  petunias,  and  phlox. 

The  lake  stretches  southward  a  distance  of 
twelve  miles,  indented  here  and  there  by  a  wooded 


promontory,  with  sandy  beaches  sweeping  in  mag- 
nificent curves,  with  a  patch  of  woodland  on  the 
eastern  sliore,  and  a  green  fringe  of  stately  oaks 
and  elms  around  its  entire  circumference.  As  far 
as  the  vision  extends  we  behold  limitless  fields, 
whose  verdure  changes  in  varying  hues  with  every 
passing  cloud,  and  wanting  only  a  background  of 
highlands  to  make  it  as  lovely  as  Windermere,  the 
most  enchanting  of  all  the  lakes  of  Old  England. 

At  our  feet  was  the  little  town  of  Glenwood. 
We  looked  down  upon  a  hotel  with  the  stars  and 
stripes  waving  above  it ;  npon  a  neat  school-house 
with  children  playing  around  its  doors  ;  ujion  a 
cluster  of  twenty  or  thirty  white  houses  sur- 
rounded by  gardens  and  flower-beds.  Three  yetivs 
ago  this  was  a  solitude. 

There  is  a  sail-boat  upon  the  lake,  wdiich  some 
gentlemen  of  our  party  chartered  for  a  fishing-ex- 
cursion. Thinking  perhaps  we  should  get  more 
fish  by  dividing  our  force,  I  took  a  skiff,  and  ob- 
tained a  stalwart  Norwegian  to  row  it.  Almost  as 
soon  as  my  hook  touched  the  water  I  felt  a  tug  at 
the  other  end  of  the  line,  and  in  came  a  j)ickerel, 
—  a  three-pounder !  The  Norwegian  rowed  slowly 
along  the  head  of  the  lake,  and  one  big  fellow  after 
another  was  pulled  into  the  boat.  There  was 
scarcely  a  breath  of  wind,  and  the  sails  were  idly 
flapping  against  the  masts  of  the  larger  boat,  where 
my  friends  were  whiling  away  the  time  as  best 


they  could,  tantalized  by  seeing  that  I  was  having 
all  the  fun.  They  could  only  crack  their  rifles  at 
a  loon,  or  at  the  flocks  of  ducks  swimming  along 
the  shore. 

But  there  was  rare  sport  at  hand.  I  discovered 
an  enormous  turtle  lying  upon  the  surface  of  the 
water  as  if  asleep.  "  Approach  gently,"  I  said  to 
the  Norwegian.  lie  dipped  his  oars  softly,  and 
sent  the  skiff  stern  foremost  towards  the  turtle, 
who  was  puffing  and  blowing  like  a  wheezy  old 
gentleman  sound  asleep. 

One  more  push  of  the  oar  and  he  will  be  mine. 
Too  late  !  We  have  lost  him.  Down  he  goes.  I 
can  see  him  four  feet  beneath  us,  clawing  off.  No, 
he  is  coming  up.  He  rises  to  the  surface.  I  grasp 
his  tail  with  both  hands,  and  jerk  with  all  my 
might.  The  boat  dips,  but  a  backward  spring 
saves  it  from  going  over,  and  his  majesty  of  White 
Bear  Lake,  the  oldest  inhabitant  of  its  silver  wa- 
ters, weighing  forty-six  pounds,  —  so  venerable  that 
he  wears  a  garden-bed  of  grass  and  weeds  upon 
his  back  —  is  floundering  in  the  half-filled  skiff. 

The  boatman  springs  to  his  feet,  stands  on  the 
seat  with  uplifted  oar,  undecided  whether  to  jump 
overboard  or  to  fight  the  monster  who  is  making 
at  his  legs  with  open  jaws. 

By  an  adroit  movement  of  an  oar  I  whirl  him 
upon  his  back,  and  hold  him  down  while  the  Nor- 
wegian paddles  slowly  to  the  beach. 


Tlie  captive  rides  in  a  meal-bag  the  remainder 
of  the  day,  hissing  now  and  then,  and  striving  to 
regain  his  liberty. 

Ah  !  is  n't  that  a  delicious  supper  which  we  sit 
down  to  out  upon  the  prairies  on  the  shores  of 
Lightning  Lake,  —  beyond  the  borders  of  civiliza- 
tion !  It  is  not  mock  turtle,  but  the  genuine  arti- 
cle, such  as  aldermen  eat.  True,  we  have  tin  cups 
and  plates,  and  other  primitive  table  furniture,  but 
hunger  sliarpens  the  appetite,  and  food  is  as  tooth- 
some as  if  served  on  gold-bordered  china.  Be- 
sides turtle-soup  we  have  fresh  fish  and  boiled 
duck.  Who  is  there  that  would  not  like  to  find 
such  fare  inside  the  borders  of  civilization  ? 

Beyond  Pope  we  entered  Grant  County,  contain- 
ing 268,000  acres  of  land,  nearly  all  open  to  set- 
tlement, and  through  which  the  r  :ain  line  of  the 
St.  Paul  and  Pacific  Ptailroad  will  be  constructed 
the  present  year.  The  population  of  the  entire 
county  probably  does  not  exceed  five  hundred, 
who  are  mostly  Swedes  and  Norwegians.  It  is  on 
the  ridge,  or,  rather,  the  gentle  undulating  prairie, 
between  tlie  waters  of  the  Eed  River  of  the 
North  and  the  Chippewa  River,  an  affluent  of  the 
Minnesota.  "VVe  passed  between  two  small  lakes ; 
the  waters  of  one  find  their  way  to  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico,  the  other  to  tlie  Arctic  Sea. 

Our  second  Sabbath  camp  was  upon  the  bank  of 
the  Red  River  of  the  North,  —  a  beautiful  stream, 

ST.   CLOUD   AND   BEYOND.  41 

winding  its  peaceful  way  through  a  country  as 
fertile  as  the  Delta  of  the  Nile. 

For  two  days  we  had  journeyed  over  rolling  prai- 
rie, seeing  no  inhabitant ;  but  on  Saturday  after- 
noon we  reached  the  great  thoroughfare  leading 
from  the  Mississippi  to  the  Eed  River,  —  travelled 
by  the  Fort  Abercrombie  stage,  and  by  the  Pem- 
bina and  Fort  Garry  carts,  by  government  trains 
and  the  ox-teams  that  transport  the  suppHes  of  the 
Hudson  Bay  Company. 

Sitting  there  upon  the  bank  of  the  Red  River 
amid  the  tall,  rank  grasses,  and  watching  the  flow- 
ing stream,  my  thoughts  went  with  its  tide  towards 
the  Northern  Sea.  It  has  its  rise  a  hundred  miles 
or  more  north  of  us,  near  Lake  Itasca,  the  source 
of  the  Mississippi,  flows  southward  to  this  point, 
turns  westward  here,  is  joined  below  by  a  stream 
issuing  from  Lake  Traverse,  its  most  southern 
source,  and  then  flows  due  north  to  Lake  Winni- 
peg, a  distance  altogether  of  about  five  hundred 

It  is  the  great  southern  artery  of  a  water-sys- 
tem that  lies  almost  wholly  beyond  the  jurisdic- 
tion of  the  United  States. 

The  Assinniboine  joins  it  just  before  reaching 
Lake  Winnipeg,  and  up  that  stream  we  may 
steam  due  west  two  hundred  and  thirty  miles  to 
Fort  Ellis.  From  Winnipeg  we  may  pass  eastward 
to  the  intricate  Rainy  Lake  system  towards  Supe- 



rior,  or  westward  into  Lakes  Manitoba  and  Winni- 
pegosis,  which  together  contain  as  much  water  as 
Lake  Erie. 

Sailing  along  the  western  shore  of  Lake  "Winni- 
peg two  hundred  miles,  we  reach  the  mouth  of  the 
Saskatchawan,  large  enough  to  be  classed  as  one 
of  the  great  rivers  of  the  continent. 

Professor  Hind,  of  Toronto,  who  conducted  a 
government  exploring-party  through  the  country 
northwest  of  Lake  Superior,  says :  "  The  Saskatch- 
awan, which  gathers  the  waters  from  a  country 
greater  in  extent  than  tlie  vast  region  drained  by 
the  St.  Lawrence  and  all  its  tributaries,  from  Lake 
Superior  to  the  Gulf,  is  navigable  for  more  than  a 
thousand  miles  of  its  course,  with  the  single  ex- 
ception of  a  few  rapids  near  its  confluence  with 
Lake  AVimiipeg." 

Professor  Hind  travelled  from  Fort  Garry  north- 
west over  the  prairies  towards  the  Rocky  Moun- 
tains, and  gives  the  following  description  of  his 
first  view  of  the  stream.     He  says  :  — 

"  The  first  view,  six  hundred  miles  from  the 
lake,  filled  me  with  astonishment  and  admiration, 
—  nearly  half  a  mile  broad,  flowing  with  a  swift 
current,  and  still  I  was  three  hundred  and  fifty 
miles  from  the  mountains." 

The  small  steamer  now  plying  on  the  Red  River 
might,  during  the  season  of  high  water,  make  its 
way  from  Fort  Abercrombie  down  this  river,  then 


throngli  Lake  Winnipeg,  and  up  the  Saskatchawan 
westward  to  the  base  of  the  Eocky  ^lountains,  — 
a  distance  altogether  of  sixteen  hundred  miles. 

We  are  in  the  latitude  of  the  continental  water- 
system.  If  we  travel  along  the  parallel  eastward, 
one  hundred  miles  will  bring  us  to  the  Mississippi 
at  Crow  Wing,  another  hundred  will  take  us  to 
Lake  Superior,  where  we  may  embark  on  a  propel- 
ler of  five  hundred  tons  and  make  our  way  down 
through  the  lakes  and  the  St.  I^awrence  to  Liver- 
pool, or  any  other  foreign  port ;  or  travelling  west 
three  hundred  miles  will  bring  us  to  the  Missouri, 
where  w^e  may  take  one  of  the  steamers  plying  on 
that  stream  and  go  up  to  Fort  Benton  under  the 
shadow  of  the  Rocky  Mountains. 

Two  hundred  and  fifty  miles  farther  by  land, 
through  the  mining  region  of  Montana,  will  bring 
lis  to  the  navigable  waters  of  the  Columbia,  down 
which  w^e  may  glide  to  the  Pacific. 

Nowhere  in  the  Eastern  hemisphere  is  there  such 
a  succession  of  lakes  and  navigable  rivers,  and  no 
other  country  exhibits  such  an  area  of  arable  land 
so  intersected  by  fresh-water  streams. 

It  would  be  an  easy  matter  by  canals  to  connect 
the  Red  River,  the  Saskatchaw\an,  and  Lake  Win- 
nipeg with  the  Mississippi.  We  can  take  a  canoe 
from  this  point  and  paddle  up  to  Otter-Tail  Lake, 
and  there,  by  carrying  it  a  mile  or  so  over  a 
sand-ridge,  launch  it  on  Leaf  River,  an  affluent  of 


the  Crow-Wing,  and  so  reacli  the  Father  of  Waters. 
We  may  do  even  better  than  that.  Instead  of 
paddling  up  stream  we  may  float  down  with  the 
current  a  few  miles  to  the  outlet  of  Lake  Traverse, 
row  across  the  lake,  and  from  that  into  Big  Stone 
Lake,  which  is  the  source  of  the  Minnesota  Eiver, 
and  l)y  this  route  reach  the  ^lississippi  below 
Minneapolis.  Boats  carrying  two  tons  have  fre- 
quently passed  from  one  river  to  the  other  during 
the  season  of  high  water.  It  would  not  be  diffi- 
cult to  construct  a  canal  by  which  steamers  might 
pass  from  the  Mississippi  to  the  base  of  the  Rocky 
Mountains  in  British  Columbia.  Eailroads  are 
superseding  canals,  and  it  is  not  likely  that  any 
such  improvement  of  the  water-way  will  be  at- 
tempted during  the  present  generation. 

But  a  glance  at  the  river  and  lake  systems  en- 
ables us  to  obtain  a  view  of  the  physical  features 
of  the  country.  We  see  that  the  northwestern 
portion  of  the  continent  is  an  extended  plain. 
The  Red  River  here  by  our  encampment  is  about 
nine  hundred  and  sixty  feet  above  the  sea.  If  we 
were  to  float  down  to  Lake  Winnipeg,  we  should 
find  that  sheet  of  water  three  hundred  feet  lower. 

Our  camp  is  pitched  to-day  about  ten  miles  west 
of  the  9Gth  meridian.  If  we  were  to  travel  south 
from  this  point  350  miles,  we  should  reach  Omaha, 
which  is  946  feet  above  the  sea,  so  that  if  we  were 
sitting  on  the  bank  of  the  Missouri  at  that  point, 


we  should  be  just  about  as  high  above  tide-water 
as  we  are  while  lolling  here  in  the  tall  rank  grass. 
By  going  from  Omaha  to  San  Francisco  over  the 
Pacific  Railroad,  we  see  the  elevations  of  tlie  coun- 
try ;  then  by  striking  westward  from  this  point  to 
the  head-waters  of  the  Missouri,  and  then  down 
the  Columbia^  we  shall  see  at  once  the  physical 
features  of  the  two  sections.  The  engineers  of  the 
Pacific  Eailroad,  after  gaining  the  top  of  the  bluff 
behind  Omaha,  have  a  long  and  apparently  level 
sweep  before  them.  Yet  there  is  a  gradually  as- 
cending grade.  Four  hundred  and  eighty-five  miles 
west  of  Omaha  we  come  to  the  104th  meridian,  at 
an  elevation  of  4,861  feet.  If  we  go  west  from 
this  point  to  that  meridian,  we  shall  strike  it  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Yellowstone,  1,970  feet  above 
tide- water.  Near  the  105th  meridian  is  the  high- 
est point  on  the  Union  Pacific,  at  Sherman,  which 
is  8,235  feet  above  the  sea.  Three  hundred  miles 
beyond  Sherman,  at  Green  Eiver,  is  the  lowest 
point  between  Omaha  and  the  descent  into  Salt 
Lake  Valley,  6,112  feet  above  the  ocean  level.  At 
that  point  we  are  about  twenty-six  miles  west  of 
the  110th  meridian.  Now  going  northward  to  the 
valley  of  the  Missouri  once  more,  we  find  that  Fort 
Benton  is  about  the  same  number  of  miles  west 
of  the  same  meridian,  but  the  fort  is  only  2,747 
feet  above  the  sea. 
Just  beyond  Fort  Benton  we  come  to  the  Rocky 


Mountains, — the  only  range  to  be  crossed  between 
Lake  Superior  and  the  Columbia.  We  enter  the 
Deer  Lodge  Pass  near  the  112th  meridian,  Avhere 
our  barometer  will  show  us  that  we  are  about  five 
thousand  feet  above  the  sea.  We  find  that  the 
miners  at  work  on  the  western  slope  have  cut  a 
canal  through  the  pass,  and  have  turned  the  waters 
of  the  Missouri  into  the  Columbia.  The  pass  is 
so  level  that  the  traveller  can  hardly  tell  when 
he  has  reached  the  dividing  line. 

Going  south  now  along  the  meridian,  we  shall 
find  that  between  Green  Eiver  nnd  Salt  Lake  lies 
the  Wasatch  Range,  which  the  Union  Pacific  cross- 
es at  an  elevation  of  7,463  feet  at  Aspen  Station, 
940  miles  west  of  Omaha.  From  that  point  the 
line  descends  to  Salt  Lake,  which  is  4,220  feet 
above  the  sea.  Westward  of  this,  on  the  115th 
meridian,  1,240  miles  from  Omaha,  we  reach  the 
top  of  Humboldt  Mountains,  6,169  feet  above  tide- 
water, while  the  elevation  is  only  1,500  feet  on  the 
same  meridian  in  the  valley  of  the  Columbia. 

At  Humboldt  Lake,  1,493  miles  west  of  Omaha, 
the  rails  are  at  the  lowest  level  of  the  mountain 
region,  4,047  feet  above  the  sea.  This  is  a  little 
west  of  the  119th  meridian,  about  the  same  longi- 
tude as  Walla  Walla  on  the  great  plain  of  the  Co- 
lumbia, which  is  less  than  400  feet  above  the  sea. 

Westward  of  Humboldt  Lake  the  Central  Line 
rises  to  the  summit  of  the  Sierra  Nevadas,  crossing 

ST.   CLOUD   AND    BEYOND.  4< 

them  7,042  feet  above  the  sea,  tlien  descending  at 
the  rate  of  116  feet  to  the  mile  into  the  valley  of 
the  Sacramento. 

Now  going  back  to  the  plains,  to  the  town  of 
Sidney,  which  is  410  miles  west  of  Omalia,  we  fmd 
the  altitude  there  the  same  as  at  Humboldt  Lake. 
This  level  does  not  show  itself  again  till  we  are 
well  down  on  the  western  slope  of  the  Sierra  Ne- 
vada Eange.  The  entire  country  between  Omaha 
and  Sacramento,  with  the  exception  of  about  510 
miles,  is  above  the  level  of  4,000  feet,  while  on  the 
hne  westward  from  the  point  where  I  am  indul- 
ging in  this  topographical  revery  there  are  not 
thirty  miles  reaching  that  altitude. 

With  this  glance  at  the  configuration  of  the  con- 
tinent I  might  make  an  isometric  map  in  the  sand 
with  my  fingers,  heaping  it  up  to  represent  the 
Black  Hills  at  Sherman,  a  lower  ridcje  to  indicate 
the  Wasatch  Eange,  a  depression  to  show  the  Salt 
Lake  Valley,  and  then  another  high  ridge  to  repre- 
sent the  Sierra  Nevadas.  I  might  trace  the  chan- 
nel of  the  Missouri  and  the  Columbia,  and  show 
that  most  of  this  territory  is  a  great  plain  sloping 
northward,  —  that  it  is  lower  at  Winnipeg  than  it 
is  here,  as  low  here  as  it  is  at  Omaha. 

Taking  this  glance  at  the  physical  features  of 
the  northern  and  central  portions  of  the  continent, 
I  can  see  that  nature  has  adapted  all  this  vast 
area  drained  by  the  Missouri  and  Yellowstone  and 



Sacramento  and  Portland. 

Sierra  Nevada,  7,042  feet. 

•  Humboldt  Lake,  4,047  feet. 

Humboldt  Mountains,  6,169  feet. 

Clark's  River,  3,700  feet. 
Salt  Lake,  4,220  feet. 
Deer  Lodge  Pass,  5,000  feet. 

Wasatch  Range,  7, 463  feet. 
Fort  Benton,  2,747  feet. 
Green  River,  6,112  feet. 

Sherman,  8,235  feet. 
104th  Meridian,  4,861  feet. 

Omaha  and  Red  River,  946  feet. 


tlieir  tributaries,  by  the  Mississippi,  by  the  Eed 
Eiver,  the  Assinniboine,  the  Saskatcha>van,  and 
the  Columbia,  to  be  the  abode,  in  tlie  future,  of 
uncounted  millions  of  tlie  human  race. 

It  is  a  solitude  now,  but  the  vanguard  of  the 
ap]»roaching  multitude  is  near  at  hand.  Tlie 
fanner  who  lives  up  the  stream  and  tends  the  ferry 
where  we  crossed  yesterday  has  one  neighbor  with- 
in twelve  miles  ;  but  a  twelvemonth  hence  these 
acres  will  have  many  farm-houses.  To-day  we 
have  listened  to  a  sermon  by  the  Eev.  Dr.  Lord, 
wlio  preached  beneath  a  canvas  roof.  We  were 
called  together  by  the  blowing  of  a  tin  trumpet, 
but  a  year  hence  the  sweet  and  solemn  tones  of 
church-bells  will  in  all  probability  echo  over  these 
verdant  meadows. 

The  locomotive  —  that  great  civilizer  of  this 
century  —  will  be  here  before  the  flowers  bloom  in 
the  spring  of  1871.  It  will  bring  towns,  villages, 
churches,  school-houses,  printing-presses,  and  mil- 
Hons  of  free  people.  I  sit  as  in  a  dream.  I  can 
hear,  in  imagination,  the  voices  of  the  advancing 
multitude,  —  of  light-hearted  maidens  and  sober 
matrons,  of  bright-eyed  boys  and  strong-armed 
men.  The  wild  roses  are  bloomin*^  here  to-dav, 
the  sod  is  as  yet  unturned,  and  the  lilies  of  the 
field  hold  up  their  cups  to  catch  the  falling  dew  ; 
hut  another  year  will  bring  the  beginning  of  the 
change.     Civilization,  which  has  crossed  the  Mis- 


sissippi,  will  soon  flow  down  this  stream,  and  sweep 
on  to  the  valley  of  the  Upper  ^Missouri. 

Tliink  of  it,  young  men  of  the  East,  you  wlio 
are  measuring  off  tape  for  young  ladies  throuiili 
the  long  and  wearisome  hours,  barely  earning  your 
living !  Throw  down  the  yardstick  and  come  out 
here  if  you  would  be  men.  Let  the  fresh  breeze 
fan  your  brow,  take  hold  of  the  plough,  bend  down 
for  a  few  years  to  hard  work  with  determination 
to  win  nobility,  and  success  will  attend  your  etfbrts. 
Is  this  too  enthusiastic  ?  Will  those  wlio  read  it 
say,  "He  has  lost  his  head  and  gone  daft  out 
there  on  the  prairies  "  ?  Not  quite.  I  am  an  ob- 
server here,  as  I  have  been  in  other  lands.  I  liave 
ridden  many  times  over  the  great  States  of  the 
Northwest ;  have  seen  the  riches  of  Santa  Clara 
and  Napa  west  of  the  Sierra  Nevadas  ;  have  looked 
out  over  the  meadows  of  the  Yangtse  and  the 
Nile,  and  can  say,  with  honest  conviction,  that  I 
have  seen  nowhere  so  inviting  a  field  as  that  of 
Minnesota,  none  with  greater  undeveloped  wealtli. 
or  with  such  prospect  of  quick  development. 




MONDAY  morning  saw  ns  on  our  way  north- 
ward, —  down  the  Talley  of  the  lied  liiver. 

It  was  exhilarating  to  gaUop  over  the  level 
prairies,  inhaling  the  fresh  air,  our  horses  brush- 
ing the  dew  from  the  grass,  and  to  see  flocks  of 
plump  prairie  chickens  rise  in  the  air  and  whirr 
away,  —  to  mark  where  they  settled,  and  then  to 
start  them  again  and  bring  them  down,  one  by  one, 
with  a  double-barrelled  shot-gun.  Did  Ave  not  think 
of  the  stews  and  roasts  we  would  have  at  night  ? 

For  a  dozen  years  or  more  every  school-boy  has 
seen  upon  his  map  the  town  of  Breckenbridge, 
located  on  the  Eed  River  of  the  North.  It  is  off 
from  the  travelled  road.  The  town,  as  one  of  our 
teamsters  informed  us,  "  has  gone  up."  It  origi- 
nally consisted  of  two  houses  and  a  saw-mill, 
but  the  Sioux  Indians  swooped  down  upon  it  in 
18G2,  and  burned  the  whole  place.  A  few  logs, 
the  charred  remains  of  timbers,  and  tall  fire- weeds 
alone  mark  the  spot. 

Eiding  on,  we  readied  Fort  Abercrombie  at  noon. 
It  is  situated  in  Dakota,  on  the  west  bank  of  the 
Red  River,  Avhich  we  crossed  by  a  rope  ferry.     It 


is  a  rcstiiipf-place  for  the  thousands  of  teams  pass- 
ing hcitween  St.  Cloud  and  I'ort  (Jarry,  and  otlior 
places  in  tho  ftir  Kortliwest.  The  place  is  of  no 
particular  account  except  as  a  di8ti'il)uting  point 
for  government  supplies  for  forts  fartlier  on,  and 
the  advancement  of  civilization  will  soon  enable  tlie 
War  Department  to  break  up  the  establishment. 

The  river  is  fringed  with  tindjer.  We  ride 
beneath  stately  oaks  growing  upon  the  bottom- 
lands, and  notice  upon  the  trees  tlie  higli-water 
marks  of  former  years.  The  stream  is  very  wind- 
ing, and  when  the  spring  rains  come  on  the  rise  is 
as  great,  though  not  usually  so  rapid,  as  in  the 
Merrimac  and  Connecticut,  and  otlier  rivers  of 
the  East. 

The  valley  of  the  Eed  River  is  not  such  as  we 
are  accustomed  to  see  in  the  East,  bounded  bv 
hills  or  mountains,  but  a  level  plain. 

When  the  sky  is  clear  and  the  air  serene,  we 
can  catch  far  away  in  the  east  the  faint  outline 
of  the  Leaf  Hills,  composing  the  low  ridge  between 
the  Eed  Eiver  and  the  Mississippi,  but  westward 
there  is  notlnng  to  bound  the  sight.  The  dead 
level  reaches  on  and  on  to  the  rolling  prairies  of 
the  Upper  Missouri. 

The  eye  rests  only  upon  the  magnificent  carpet, 
bright  with  wild  roses  and  petunias,  lilies  and 
harebells,  which  Nature  has  unrolled  upon  the 
floor  of  this  gorgeous  palace. 


I  had  been  slow  to  Lelieve  jill  that  had  hocn  told 
in  regard  to  the  «^'eiiial  climate  ol'  the  Northwest, 
but  through  the  courtesy  of  tlie  commandunt  of  the 
Fort,  General  Hunt,  was  permitted  to  see  the  me- 
teorological records  ke])t  at  the  post. 

The  sunniier  of  18G8  was  excessively  warm  in 
the  Western,  Middle,  and  Atlantic  States.  Here, 
on  one  day  in  July,  the  mercury  rose  to  ninety 
degrees,  Falu'enheit,  1)ut  the  mean  temperature 
fur  the  month  was  seventy-nine.  In  August  the 
liighust  temperature  was  eighty-eight,  the  lowest 
fifty,  the  mean  sixty-nine.  In  September  the 
liigliest  temperature  was  seventy-four,  the  mean 
forty-seven.  A  slight  frost  occurred  on  the  night 
of  the  IGtli,  and  a  hard  one  on  the  last  day  of 
the  month.  In  October  a  few  Hakes  of  snow 
fell  on  the  27tli.  In  November  there  were  a  few 
inches  of  snow.  Toward  the  close  of  December, 
on  one  day,  the  mercury  reached  twenty-seven 
below  zero.  On  the  30th  of  January  it  dropped 
to  thirty  below.  During  this  month  there  were 
four  days  on  which  snow  fell,  and  in  February 
there  were  ten  snowy  days.  The  greatest  depth  of 
snow  during  the  winter  was  about  eighteen  inches, 
furnishing  uninterrupted  sleighing  from  December 
to  March. 

On  the  23d  of  Marcli  wild  geese  and  ducks  ap- 
peared, winging  their  way  to  Lake  Winnipeg  and 
Hudson  Bay.     The  spring  opened  early  in  April. 

54  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

There  are  no  farms  as  yet  in  the  valley,  —  the 
few  settlers  cultivating  only  small  patches  ot  land, 
I  have  thought  of  this  section  of  country  as  Lenig 
almost  up  to  the  arctic  circle,  and  can  only  disahuse 
my  mind  by  comparing  it  with  other  localities  in 
the  same  latitude.  St.  Paul  is  in  the  latitude  of 
Bordeaux,  in  the  grape-growing  district  of  Soutli- 
ern  France.  Here  at  Fort  Abercrombie  we  are  at 
least  one  hundred  and  fifty  miles  farther  south 
than  the  world's  gayest  capital,  Paris. 

It  is  not  likely  that  Xorthern  Minnesota  will 
ever  become  a  wine-producing  country,  though  wild 
grapes  are  found  along  the  streams,  and  the  people 
of  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis  will  show  us  thrifty 
vines  in  their  gardens,  laden  with  heavy  clusters. 
Minnesota  is  a  wheat-growing  region,  chniate 
and  soil  are  alike  favorable  to  its  production. 

On  the  east  bank  of  the  Ked  Eiver  we  see  a 
field  owned  by  Mr.  McAuley,  who  keeps  a  store 
and  sells  boots,  pipes,  tobacco,  powder,  shot,  and 
all  kinds  of  supplies  needed  by  hunters  and  fron- 
tiersmen. He  sowed  his  wheat  this  year  (1869) 
on  the  5th.  of  INIay,  and  it  is  now,  on  the  19tli  of 
July,  heading  out.  "  I  had  forty-five  liushels  to 
the  acre  last  year,"  he  says,  "  and  the  present  crop 
will  be  equally  good." 

This  Pied  Eiver  Valley  throughout  its  lengtli 
and  breadth  is  very  fertile.  Here  are  twenty  thou- 
sand square  miles  of  land,  —  an  area  as  large  as 


Vermont  and  New  Ilampsliire  combined,  —  unsur- 
passed for  richness. 

The  construction  of  the  Northern  Pacific  Rail- 
road and  the  St.  Paul  and  Pacific,  both  of  which 
are  to  reach  this  valley  within  a  few  months,  will 
make  these  lands  virtually  as  near  market  as  the 
farms  of  Central  or  Western  Illinois.  From  the 
lied  River  to  D  ninth  the  distance  is  210  miles  in 
a  direct  line.  It  is  187  miles  from  Chicago  to 
Springfield,  Illinois ;  so  that  when  the  Nortlicrn 
Pacific  Railroad  is  constructed  to  tlus  point,  Mr. 
McAuley  will  be  just  as  near  Boston  or  New  York 
as  the  farmers  who  live  in  the  vicinity  of  the  capi- 
tal of  Illinois  ;  for  grain  can  be  taken  from  Duluth 
to  Buffalo,  Oswego,  or  Ogdensburg  as  cheaply  as 
from  Chicago.  The  richness  of  the  lands,  the  sup- 
ply of  timber  on  the  Red  River  and  all  its  branch- 
es, with  the  opening  of  the  two  lines  of  railway, 
will  give  a  rapid  settlement  to  this  paradise  of  the 

Professor  Hind,  of  Toronto,  who  was  sent  out  by 
the  Canadian  government  to  explore  the  British 
Possessions  northwest  of  Lake  Superior,  in  his  re- 
port says  :  "  Of  the  valley  of  the  Red  River  I  find 
it  impossible  to  speak  in  any  other  terms  than 
those  which  may  express  astonishment  and  admi- 
ration. I  entirely  concur  in  the  brief  but  expres- 
sive description  given  me  by  an  English  settler  on 
the  Assinniboine,  that  the  valley  of  the  Red  River, 


including  a  large  portion  belonging  to  its  great  af- 
fluents, is  a  paradise  of  fertility." 

In  jNIr.  IMcAuley's  garden  we  see  corn  in  the 
spindle.  The  broad  leaves  wear  as  rich  a  green  as 
if  fertilized  with  the  best  Peruvian  guano  ;  and  no 
wonder,  for  tlie  soil  is  a  deep  black  loam,  and  as 
mellow  as  an  ash-heap.  His  peas  were  sown  the 
2d  of  June,  and  they  are  already  large  enough 
for  the  table  !  He  will  have  an  abundant  sup2)ly 
of  cucumbers  by  the  first  of  August.  They  were 
not  started  under  glass,  but  the  dry  seeds  were 
dropped  in  the  hills  the  same  day  he  planted  his 
peas,  —  the  2d  of  June. 

Vegetation  advances  with  great  rapidity.  Mr. 
McAuley  says  tliat  vegetables  and  grains  come 
to  maturity  ten  or  fifteen  days  earlier  here  than  at 
Manchester,  New  Hampshire,  where  he  once  re- 

General  Pope  was  formerly  stationed  at  Fort 
Abercrombie ;  and  in  his  report  upon  the  resources 
of  the  country  and  its  climatology,  says  that  tlie 
wheat,  upon  an  average,  is  five  pounds  per  bushel 
heavier  than  that  grown  in  Illinois  or  the  Middle 

We  saw  yesterday  a  gentleman  and  lady  who 
live  at  Fort  Garry,  and  who  call  themselves  "  Win- 
nipeggers."  They  were  born  in  Scotland,  and  had 
been  home  to  Old  Scotia  to  see  their  friends. 

"  How  do  you  like  Winnipeg  ? "  I  asked. 



"There  is  no  finer  country  in  the  world/'  he 

"  Do  you  not  have  cold  winters  ? " 

"Not  remarkably  so.  We  have  a  few  cold  days, 
but  the  air  is  usually  clear  and  still  on  such  days, 
and  we  do  not  mind  the  cold.  If  we  only  had  a 
railroad,  it  would  he  the  finest  place  in  the  world 
to  live  in." 

We  wonder  at  his  entlnisiasm  over  a  country 
wliich  we  have  thought  of  as  being  almost,  if  not 
quite,  out  of  the  world,  while  he  doubtless  looks 
with  pity  upon  us  who  are  content  to  remain  in 
such  a  cooped-up  place  as  the  East. 

Most  of  us,  unless  we  have  become  nomads, 
think  that  there  are  no  garden  patches  so  attrac- 
tive as  our  own,  and  we  wonder  how  other  people 
can  be  willing  to  live  so  far  off. 

This  Winnipeg  gentleman  says  that  the  wiiiters 
are  no  more  severe  at  Fort  Garry  than  at  St.  Paul, 
and  that  the  sj^ring  opens  quite  as  early. 

The  temperature  for  the  year  at  Fort  Garry  is 
mucli  like  that  of  Montreal,  as  will  be  seen  by  the 
following  comparison :  — 





Port  Garry, 










58  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

This  shows  the  mean  temperatures  for  the  three 
months  of  each  season.  Though  the  mercury  is 
ten  degrees  lower  at  Fort  Garry  in  the  Avinter  than 
at  Montreal,  there  is  less  wind,  fewer  raw  days, 
much  less  snow,  and,  taken  all  in  all,  the  climate  is 
more  agreeable. 

Bidding  good  by  to  the  courteous  commander  of 
the  fort,  who  supplies  that  portion  of  our  party 
going  to  the  Missouri  with  an  escort,  we  gallop  on 
through  this  "  Paradise,"  starting  flocks  of  plovers 
from  the  waving  grass,  and  bringing  down,  now 
and  then,  a  prairie  chicken. 

Far  away,  on  the  verge  of  the  horizon,  we  can 
see  our  wagons,  —  mere  specks. 

Wliat  a  place  for  building  a  railway !  Not  o. 
hillock  nor  a  hollow,  not  a  curve  or  loss  of  gra- 
dient ;  timber  enough  on  the  river  for  ties.  And 
when  bidlt,  what  a  place  to  let  on  steam !  The 
engineer  may  draw  his  throttle- valve  and  give  the 
piston  full  head.  Here  wdll  be  the  place  to  see 
what  iron,  steel,  and  steam  can  do. 

We  pitch  our  tents  for  the  night  in  the  suburbs 
of  Burlington,  not  far  from  the  hotel  and  post- 
office.  The  hotel,  which  just  now  is  the  only 
building  in  town,  is  built  of  logs.  It  is  not  very 
spacious  inside,  but  it  has  all  the  universe  out- 
side ! 

Once  a  week  the  mail-carrier  passes  from  Fort 
Abercrombie  to  Pembina,  and  as  there  are  a  liaK- 




THE   RED   IllVER   COUNTRY.  59 

dozen  pioneers  and  lialf-breeds  within  a  radius  of 
tliirty  miles  of  Burlington,  a  post-office  has  been 
established  here,  which  is  kept  in  a  shed  adjoining 
the  hotel. 

The  postmaster  gives  us  a  cordial  greeting.  It 
is  a  pleasure  to  hear  this  bluff  but  wide-awako 
German  say,  "  0,  I  have  been  acquainted  with 
you  for  a  long  wliile.  I  followed  you  through  the 
war  and  around  the  world." 

From  first  to  last,  in  letters  from  the  battle-field, 
from  the  various  countries  of  tlie  world,  and  in 
these  notes  of  travel,  it  has  ever  been  my  aim  to 
write  for  the  comprehension  of  the  people  ;  and 
such  spontaneous  and  uncalled-for  commendation 
of  my  efforts  out  here  upon  the  prairies  was  more 
grateful  than  many  a  well-meant  paragraph  Irom 
tlie  public  press. 

While  pitching  our  tents,  a  flock  of  pigeons  flew 
past,  and  down  in  the  woods  along  the  bank  of 
tlie  river  we  could  hear  their  cooing.  Those  who 
had  shot-guns  went  to  the  hunt ;  while  some  of 
us  tried  the  river  for  fish,  but  returned  luckless. 
The  supper  was  good  enough,  however,  without 
trout  or  pickerel.  Who  can  ask  for  anything 
better  than  prairie  chicken,  plover,  duck,  pork, 
and  pigeons  ? 

Then,  when  hunger  is  appeased,  we  sit  around 
tlie  camp-fire  and  think  of  the  future  of  this  para- 
dise.    Near  by  is  another  camp-fire. 


I  see  by  its  glimmering  light  a  stalwart  man 
with  shaggy  beard  and  a  slouched  hat.  The  emi- 
grant's wife  sits  on  the  other  side  of  the  fire,  and 
by  its  light  I  see  that  she  wears  a  faded  linsey- 
woolsey  dress,  that  lier  hair  is  uncombed,  and  tliat 
she  has  not  given  much  attention  to  her  toilet. 
Two  frowzy-headed  children,  a  boy  and  a  girl,  are 
romping  in  the  grass.  The  worldly  effects  of  this 
family  are  in  that  canvas-covered  ox-wagon,  with 
a  chicken-coop  at  the  hinder  part,  and  a  tin  kettle 
dangling  beneath  the  axle.  This  emigrant  has 
come  from  Iowa.  He  is  moving  into  this  valley 
"  to  take  up  a  claim."  That  is,  he  is  going  to  se- 
lect a  piece  of  choice  land  under  the  Homestead 
Act,  build  a  cabin,  and  "  make  a  break  in  the  per- 
ra-ry,"  he  says. 

He  will  be  followed  by  others.  The  tide  is 
setting  in  rai)idly,  and  by  the  time  the  railway 
conqmny  are  ready  to  carry  freight  there  will  be 
population  enough  here  to  support  the  road. 

We  have  an  early  start  in  the  morning.  Our 
route  is  along  a  highway,  upon  which  there  is  more 
travel  than  upon  many  of  the  old  turnj)ikes  of 
New  England  for  Winnipeg,  and  the  Hudson  Bay 
posts  receive  all  their  supplies  over  this  road. 

At  our  noonday  halt  we  fall  in  with  Father 
Genin,  a  French  Catholic  priest,  who  lives  on  the 
bank  of  the  river  in  a  log-hut.  He  comes  out  to 
see  us,  wearing  a  long  black  bombazine  priestly 


gown,  and  low-crowned  hat.  He  is  in  the  prime 
of  life,  was  educated  at  Paris,  came  to  Quebec,  and 
is  assigned  to  the  Northwest.  He  has  sailed  over 
Lake  Winnipeg,  and  paddled  his  canoe  on  the  Sas- 
katchawan  and  Athabasca. 

"  My  parish,"  he  says,  "  reaches  from  St.  Paul  to 
the  Iiocky  Mountains."  He  speaks  in  glowing 
terms  of  the  country  up  "  in  the  Northwest,"  —  as 
if  we,  who  are  now  sixteen  hundred  miles  from 
Boston,  had  not  reached  the  Northwest ! 

Our  talk  with  Father  Genin,  and  his  enthusias- 
tic description  of  the  Saskatchawan  Valley,  has 
set  us  to  thinking  of  this  region,  to  whicli  the 
United  States  once  held  claim,  and  which  might 
now  have  been  a  part  of  our  domain  if  it  had  not 
been  for  the  pusillanimity  of  President  Polk. 

Mackenzie  was  the  first  European  who  gave  to 
the  world  an  account  of  the  country  lying  between 
us  and  the  Arctic  Sea.  He  was  in  this  valley  in 
1789,  and  was  charmed  with  it.  He  made  his 
way  down  to  Lake  Winnipeg,  thence  up  the  Sas- 
katchawan to  Athabasca  Lake.  At  the  carrying- 
place  between  the  Saskatchawan  and  Athabasca 
rivers,  at  Portage  la  Loche,  he  discovered  springs 
of  petroleum,  whicli  are  thus  described :  — 

"  Twenty-five  miles  from  the  fork  are  some 
bituminous  springs,  into  which  a  pole  may  be 
inserted  without  the  least  resistance.  The  bitumen 
is  in  a  fluid  state,  and  when  mixed  with  resin  is 


used  to  gum  the  canoes.  In  its  heated  state  it 
emits  a  smell  like  sea-coal.  The  banks  of  Slave 
Eiver,  which  are  elevated,  discover  veins  of  the 
same  bituminous  (quality."  * 

His  winter  quarters  were  near  Lake  Athabasca, 
at  Fort  Chippewayan,  more  than  thirteen  hundred 
miles  northwest  from  Chicago.  He  thus  writes  in 
regard  to  the  country  :  — 

"  In  the  fall  of  1787,  when  I  first  arrived  at 
Athabasca,  Mr.  Pond  was  settled  on  the  bank  of  the 
Elk  lUver,  where  he  remained  three  years,  and  had 
as  fine  a  kitchen-garden  as  I  ever  saw  in  Canada  " 
(p.  127). 

Of  the  climate  in  winter  he  says  that  the  be- 
ginning was  cold,  and  about  one  foot  of  snow  fell. 
Tlie  last  week  in  December  and  the  first  week  in 
January  were  marked  by  warm  southwest  breezes, 
which  dissolved  all  the  snow.  Wild  geese  ap- 
peared on  the  13th  of  March ;  and  on  the  5th  of 
April  the  snow  had  entirely  disappeared.  On  the 
20th  he  wrote  :  — 

"  The  trees  are  budding,  and  many  plants  are  in 
blossom"  (p.  150). 

Mackenzie  left  the  "  Old  Establishment,"  as  one 
of  the  posts  of  the  Hudson  Bay  Company  was 
called,  on  the  Peace  Eiver,  in  the  month  of  May, 
for  the  Kocky  Mountains.  He  follow^ed  the  stream 
through  the  gap  of  the  mountains,  passed  to  the 

*  General  History  of  the  Fur-Trade,  p.  87. 


head- waters  of  Fraser  River,  and  descended  that 
stream  to  the  Pacific.  He  thus  describes  the  coun- 
try along  the  Peace  lUver :  — 

"  This  magnificent  theatre  of  nature  has  all  the 
decorations  winch  the  trees  and  animals  can  afford 
it.  Groves  of  poplars  in  every  shape  vary  the 
scene,  and  their  intervales  are  relieved  with  vast 
herds  of  elk  and  hufCaloes,  —  the  former  choosing 
the  steeps  and  uplands,  the  latter  preferring  the 
plains.  The  whole  country  displayed  an  exube- 
rant verdure;  the  trees  that  bear  blossoms  were 
advancing  fast  to  that  delightful  appearance,  and 
the  velvet  rind  of  tlieir  Ijranches  reflecting  the 
oblique  rays  of  a  rising  or  setting  sun  added  a 
splendid  gayety  to  the  scene  which  no  expressions 
of  mine  are  qualified  to  describe"  (p.  154). 

This  was  in  latitude  55°  17',  about  fourteen  hun- 
dred miles  from  St.  Paul. 

The  next  traveller  who  enlightened  the  world 
upon  this  region  was  Mr.  Harman,  a  native  of  Yer- 
gennes,  Vermont,  who  became  connected  with  the 
Northwest  Fur  Company,  and  passed  seventeen 
years  in  British  America.  He  reached  Lake  Win- 
nipeg in  1800,  and  his  first  winter  was  passed 
west  of  the  lake.  Under  date  of  January  5th  we 
have  this  record  in  his  journal :  — 

"  Beautiful  weather.  Saw  in  different  herds  at 
least  a  thousand  buffaloes  grazing  "  (p.  68). 

"  February  17th.  —  We  have  now  about  a  foot 


and  a  lialf  of  snow  on  the  gronncl.  This  morninfr 
one  of  our  people  killed  a  buH'alo  on  the  prairie 
opposite  the  fort "  (p.  73). 

"  March  14:th.  —  The  greatei  part  of  the  snow  is 
dissolved."  * 

On  the  Gth  of  April  Mr.  Harman  writes :  "  I 
have  taken  a  ride  on  horseback  to  a  place  wliere 
our  people  are  making  sugar.  My  path  led  nie 
over  a  small  prairie,  and  through  a  wood,  where  I 
saw  a  great  variety  of  birds  that  were  straining 
their  tuneful  throats  as  if  to  welcome  tiie  return 
of  another  spring ;  small  animals  were  running 
about,  or  skipping  from  tree  to  tree,  and  at  the 
same  time  were  to  be  seen,  swans,  bustards,  ducks, 
etc.  swimming  about  in  the  rivers  and  ponds.  All 
these  things  together  rendered  my  ramble  beautiful 
beyond  description  "  (p.  75). 

During  the  month  of  April  there  w^ere  two 
snow-storms,  but  the  snow  disappeared  nearly  as 
fast  as  ^'t  fell. 

One  winter  was  passed  by  Mr.  Harman  in  the 
country  beyond  Lake  Athabasca,  on  the  Athabasca 
River,  where  he  says  the  snow  during  the  winter 
"was  at  no  time  more  than  two  feet  and  a  half 
deep  "  (p.  174). 

*  On  the  16th  of  March,  1870,  while  these  notes  were  under 
review,  the  streets  of  Boston  were  deep  with  snow,  and  twenty- 
four  trains  were  blockaded  on  the  Boston  and  Albany  Kailroad 
between  Springfield  and  Albany. 


On  May  Gtli  lie  writes :  "  We  have  planted  our  po- 
tatoes and  sowed  most  of  our  garden-seeds  "  (p.  17H). 

"  June  2(1.  —  The  seeds  which  we  sowed  in  the 
garden  have  sprung  up  and  grown  reniarkahly 
well.  The  present  prospect  is  that  strawberries, 
red  ra,si)berries,  shad-ljerries,  cherries,  etc.  will  bo 
abundant  this  season." 

"  Jubf  2\st.  —  We  have  cut  down  our  barley, 
and  I  think  it  is  the  fnicst  that  I  ever  saw  in  any 
country.  The  soil  on  the  points  of  land  along 
this  river  is  excellent"  (p.  181). 

"  October  2nl.  —  We  have  taken  our  potatoes  out 
of  the  ground,  and  iind  that  nine  bushels  which 
we  planted  on  the  10th  of  May  last  have  X)roduced 
a  little  more  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  bushels. 
The  other  vegetables  in  our  garden  have  yielded 
an  increase  much  in  the  same  proportion,  Avhich  is 
suflicient  proof  that  the  soil  of  the  points  of  land 
along  this  river  is  good.  Indeed,  I  am  of  opinion 
that  wheat,  rye,  barley,  oats,  peas,  etc.  would  grow 
well  in  the  plains  around  us  "  (p.  186). 

He  passed  several  winters  at  the  head-waters  of 
Peace  .Eiver,  in  the  Eocky  Mountains.  In  his 
journal  we  have  these  records :  — 

"  May  7th.  —  The  weather  is  very  fine,  and  vege- 
tation is  far  advanced  for  the  season.  Swans  and 
ducks  are  numerous  in  the  lakes  and  rivers." 

"  May  22cl  —  Planted  potatoes  and  sowed  gar- 




"Odoher  M. — We  have  taken  our  vegetablcis 
out  of  the  ground  We  liave  forty-one  bushels  of 
potatoes,  tlie  produce  of  one  bushel  planted  la^t 
spring.  Our  turnips,  barley,  etc.  have  j)roduce(l 
well "  (p.  257). 

In  1814  he  writes  under  date  of  Septemljcr 
3d :  "  A  few  days  since  we  cut  down  our  barley. 
The  five  (piarts  which  I  sowed  on  the  1st  of  ^lay 
have  yielded  as  many  bushels.  One  acre  of 
ground,  pj'oducing  in  the  same  proportion,  would 
yield  eighty-four  bushels.  This  is  sufficient  proof 
that  the  soil  in  many  places  in  this  quarter  is 
favorable  to  agriculture  "  (j).  2G7). 

Sir  John  Ilichardson,  who  explored  the  arctic 
regions  by  this  route,  says  :  "  Wheat  is  rais 
with  profit  at  Fort  Liard,  kt.  60°  5'  N.,  Ion.  122' 
31'  W.,  and  four  or  five  hundred  feet  above  the  sea. 
This  locality,  however,  being  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
Ptocky  Alountains,  is  subject  to  summer  frosts,  and 
the  grain  does  not  ripen  every  year,  tliougii  in 
favorable  seasons  it  gives  a  good  return." 

In  1857,  Captain  Palliser,  of  the  Koyal  Engi- 
neers, was  sent  out  by  the  English  government 
to  explore  tlie  region  between  Lake  Superior  and 
the  racific,  looking  towards  the  construction  of  ii 
railroad  across  the  continent,  through  the  British 
Possessions.  His  report  to  the  government  is 
published  in  the  Blue-Book. 

Speaking  of  the  country  along  the  Assinniboine, 

THE   KEl)    lilVER   COUNTRY.  G7 

he  says  :  "Tlie  AssiniiiT)oiiio  lias  a  course  of  nearly 
three  hundred  miles  ;  lies  wliolly  witliin  a  fertile 
and  partially  wooded  country.  The  lower  part  of 
the  valley  ior  seventy  miles,  before  it  joins  tlic 
lied  lliver,  affords  land  of  surpassing  ri-jlmess  and 
fertility"  (p.  9). 

Of  the  South  Saskatchawan,  he  says  that  "it 
flows  through  a  tliick-wooded  country"  Tp.  10). 

Tlie  natural  features  of  the  north  branch  of  that 
river  are  set  fortli  in  glowing  language  :  — 

"  Tlie  richness  of  the  natural  pasture  in  many 
places  on  the  Ncu^th  Saskatchawan  and  its  tril)- 
utary,  Battle  lliver,  can  hardly  be  exaggerated. 
Its  value  does  not  consist  in  its  long  rank  grasses 
or  in  its  great  cpiantity,  but  from  its  fine  quality, 
comprising  nutritious  species  of  grasses,  along  with 
natural  vetches  in  great  variety,  which  remain 
throughout  the  Avinter  juicy  and  fit  for  the  nour- 
ishment of  stock. 

"  Almost  anywhere  along  the  Saskatchawan  a 
sufficiency  of  good  soil  is  everywhere  to  be  found, 
fit  for  all  purposes,  both  for  pasture  and  tillage, 
extending  towards  the  thick- wooded  hills,  and  also 
to  be  found  in  the  region  of  the  lakes,  between 
Forts  Pitt  and  Edmonton.  In  almost  every  direc- 
tion around  Edmonton  the  land  is  fine,  excepting 
only  the  hilly  country  at  the  higher  level,  such  as 
the  Beacon  Hills ;  even  there  there  is  nothing 
like  sterility,  only  the  surface  is  too  much  broken 

68  TJIK   HEAT   OF   KM  PIKE. 

to  be  occupied  wliile  more  level  country  can  be 
obtained"  (]).  10). 

Goinj^'  n])  tlie  Saskatciliiivan  be  discovered  beds 
of  coal,  wliicb  are  thus  descrj^)ed  :  — 

"In  the  u])perpart  of  the  Saskatchawan  country, 
coal  of  fine  (piality  occurs  abundantly,  and  may 
hereafter  Ije  very  useful.  It  is  (piite  fit  to  be  cm- 
ployed  in  the  smelting  of  iron  irom  tlie  ore  of  that 
metal,  which  occurs  in  large  (quantities  in  the  same 
strata"  (]).  11). 

Two  hundrcid  miles  north  of  this  coal  dcnosit, 
Mackenzie  discovered  the  springs  of  petroleum  and 
coal  strata  along  the  baidvs  of  tlie  streams.  Har- 
man  saw  the  same. 

I*alliser  wintered  on  the  Saskatchawan,  and 
speaks  thus  of  tlie  climate:  — 

"The  climate  in  winter  is  more  rigorous  than 
that  of  Ked  lliver,  and  partial  thaws  occur  long 
before  the  actual  opening  of  spring.  The  winter 
is  nuicli  tlie  same  in  duration,  but  the  amount  of 
snow  that  falls  rapidly  decreases  as  we  approach 
the  mountains.  The  river  generally  freezes  al)out 
the  12th  of  November,  and  breaks  up  from  the 
17th  to  the  20th  of  April.  During  the  winter 
season  of  five  months  the  means  of  travelling  and 
transport  are  greatly  fjicilitated  by  the  snow,  the 
ordinary  depth  (jf  which  is  sufficient  for  the  use 
of  sleighs,  without  at  the  same  time  being  great 
enough  to  impede  horses. 

THE   KKl)    KIVEK  COUXTIiV.  69 

"  The  whole  of  tliis  ro^non  of  country  would  bo 
valu{il)lo,  not  only  for  a<,Ti culture;,  1)ut  also  for 
mixed  |)Ui'])Oses  of  settlement.  Tlie  wliolc  region 
is  well  wooded  and  watered,  and  enjoys  a  climate 
far  preferal)le  to  that  of  either  Sweden  or  Norway. 
I  have  not  only  seen  excellent  wheat,  but  Indian 
corn  (wlii(;h  will  not  succeed  in  England  or  Ire- 
land), ri])ening  on  Mr.  Tratt's  farm  at  the  Qui 
A])i)elle  Lakes  in  1857"  (p.  11). 

Father  Iki  Sniet,  a  Catholic  missionary,  in  1845 
crossed  the  liocky  IMountains  from  IJritish  Colum- 
liia,  eastward  to  the  head-waters  of  the  south 
branch  of  the  Saskatchawan,  and  passed  along  the 
eastern  base  of  the  mountains  to  Edmonton.  He 
characterizes  the  country  as  "  an  ocean  of  prairies." 

"  The  entire  region,"  lie  says,  "in  the  vicinity  of 
tlie  eastern  chain  of  the  llocky  Mountains,  serving 
as  their  base  for  thirty  or  sixty  miles,  is  extremely 
fertile,  abounding  in  forijsts,  plains,  prairies,  lakes, 
streams,  and  mineral  springs.  The  rivers  and 
streams  are  iimumerable,  and  on  every  side  offer 
situations  favorable  for  the  construction  of  mills. 
The  northern  and  southern  branches  of  the  Sas- 
katchawan water  the  district  I  have  traversed  for 
a  distance  of  about  three  hundred  miles.  Forests 
of  pines,  cypress,  cedars,  poplar  and  aspen  trees, 
as  well  as  others  of  different  kinds,  occupy  a  large 
])ortion  of  it.  Tlie  country  would  be  capable  of 
supporting  a  large  population,  and  the  soil  is  favor- 

70  .  ■       THE  SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

able  for  the  production  of  wheat,  barley,  potatoes, 
and  beans,  which  grow  here  as  Well  as  in  the  more 
southern  countries." 

It  is  a  region  abundantly  supplied  with  coal  of 
the  lignite  formation.  Father  Genin  has  a  speci- 
men of  lignite  taken  from  the  banks  of  Maple 
lliver,  about  seven  miles  from  our  camp.  It  is  a 
small  branch  of  the  Eed  Kiver  flowing  from  the 
west.  If  we  were  to  travel  northwest  a  little  more 
than  one  hundred  miles,  we  should  come  to  the 
Little  Souris  or  Mouse  lUver,  a  l^ranch  of  the  As- 
sinniboine,  where  we  should  find  seams  of  the  same 
kind  of  coal.  Continuing  on  to  the  Saskatchawan, 
we  shall  find  it  appearing  all  along  the  river  from 
Fort  Edmonton  to  the  Rocky  Mountains,  a  distance 
of  between  three  and  four  hundred  miles. 

Dr.  Hector,  geologist  to  the  exploring  expedition 
under  Captain  Palliser,  thus  describes  the  coal  on 
Eed  Deer  Eiver,  a  branch  of  the  South  Saskatcha- 
wan :  — 

"  The  lignite  forms  beds  of  great  thickness,  one 
group  of  seams  measuring  twenty-five  feet  in  thick- 
ness, of  which  twelve  feet  consist  of  pure  compact 
lignite.  At  one  point  the  seam  was  on  fire,  and  the 
Indians  say  that  for  as  long  as  they  can  remember 
the  fire  at  this  place  has  not  been  extinguished, 
summer  or  winter"  (p.  233). 

Father  De  Smet  passed  down  the  river  in  1845, 
and  it  was  then  on  fire.     If  we  were  to  travel 


nortliward  from  the  Eed  Doer  to  the  Peace  Eiver, 
we  should  find  the  same  formation;  and  if  we  were 
to  ghde  dowm  the  Mackenzie  towards  the  Arctic 
Sea,  we  should,  according  to  the  intrepid  voyager 
wliose  name  it  bears,  find  seams  of  coal  along  its 

Mr.  Bourgeau,  botanist  to  the  Palliser  Exploring 
Expedition,  in  a  letter  addressed  to  Sir  William 
Hooker,  lias  the  following  remarks  upon  the  ca]^a- 
hilities  of  the  Northwest  for  supporting  a  dense 
population  :  — 

"  It  remains  for  me  to  call  the  attention  of  the 
English  government  to  the  advantages  there  would 
he  in  establishing  agricultural  districts  in  the  vast 
plains  of  Rupert's  Land,  and  particularly  in  the 
Saskatchawan,  in  the  neighborliood  of  Fort  Carl- 
toii.  This  district  is  much  better  adapted  to  the 
culture  of  staple  crops  than  one  would  have  been 
inclined  to  believe  from  this  high  latitude.  In  ef- 
fect, the  few  attempts  at  the  culture  of  cereals 
already  made  in  the  vicinity  of  the  Hudson  Bay 
Company's  posts  demonstrate  by  their  success  how 
easy  it  would  be  to  obtain  products  sufficiently 
large  to  remunerate  the  efforts  of  the  agricultur- 
ist. Then,  in  order  to  put  the  land  under  cultiva- 
tion, it  w^ould  be  necessary  only  to  till  the  better 
portions  of  the  soil.  The  prairies  offer  natural 
pasturage  as  favorable  for  the  maintenance  of  nu- 
merous herds  as  if  they  had  been  artificially  ere- 

72  THE   SEAT  OF   EMriRE. 

ated.  The  construction  of  houses  for  habitation 
and  for  pioneer  developnient  woidd  involve  but 
little  expense,  because  in  many  pai'ts  of  the  coun- 
try, independent  of  wood,  one  would  find  fitting 
stones  for  building  purposes,  and  it  is  easy  to  find 

clay  for  bricks The  vetches  found  here  aro 

as  fitting  for  nourishment  of  cattle  as  the  clover  of 
European  pasturage.  The  abundance  of  buffaloes, 
and  the  facility  witli  whicli  herds  of  horses  and 
oxen  increase,  demonstrate  tliat  it  would  be  enough 
to  shelter  animals  in  Avinter,  and   to  feed  them 

in  the  shelters  with  hay In  the  gardens  of 

the  Hudson  Bay  Company's  posts,  beans,  peas, 
and  French  beans  have  been  successfully  culti- 
vated ;  also  cabbages,  turnips,  carrots,  rhubarb,  and 
currants"  (p.  250). 

The  winters  of  the  Northwest  are  wholly  unlike 
those  of  the  Eastern  and  Middle  States.  The 
meteorologist  of  Palliser's  Expedition  says  :  "Along 
the  eastern  base  of  the  Eocky  IMountains  there  is 
a  narrow  strip  of  country  in  which  there  is  never 
more  than  a  few  inches  of  snow  on  the  ground. 
About  forty  miles  to  the  eastward,  however,  the 
fall  begins  to  be  much  greater,  but  during  the  win- 
ter rarely  exceeds  two  feet.  On  the  prairies  tlie 
snow  evaporates  rapidly,  and,  except  in  hollows 
where  it  is  drifted,  never  accumidates ;  but  in  the 
woods  it  is  protected,  and  in  spring  is  often  from 
three  to  four  feet  deep"  (p.  268). 


Captain  Palliser  and  party  travelled  from  post 
to  post  during  the  winter  without  difficulty.  In 
February,  1859,  he  travelled  from  Edmonton  to 
Lake  St.  Ann's.  On  two  nights  the  mercury  was 
frozen  in  the  bulb,  —  as  it  is  not  unfrequently  at 
Franconia,  New  Hampshire.  Exclusive  of  those 
two  cold  nights,  the  mean  of  the  temperature  was 
seventeen.  He  says  :  "  This  was  a  trip  made  dur- 
ing the  coldest  weather  experienced  in  the  country. 
If  proper  precautions  are  taken,  there  is  nothing 
merely  in  extreme  cold  to  stop  travelling  in  the 
wooded  country,  but  the  danger  of  freezing  from 
exi)osure  upon  the  open  plains  is  so  great  that  they 
cannot  be  ventured  on  Avith  safety  during  any  part 
of  the  winter"  (p.  268). 

The  Wesleyan  Missionary  Society  of  England 
has  a  mission  at  Edmonton,  under  the  care  of 
Rev.  Thomas  Woolsey.  The  following  extracts 
from  his  journal  will  show  the  progress  of  the 
winter  and  spring  season  in  1855  :  — 

"  Nov.    1.    A  little  snow  has  fallen  for  the  first  time. 

"     1 2.    Swamps  frozen  over. 

"     13.    A  little  more  snow. 

"     17.   Crossed  river  on  the  ice. 
Dec.    2.    The  past  week  has  been  remarkably  mild. 

"      9.    More  snow. 
1856.    Jan.  8  to  11.   More  like  spring  than  winter. 
Jan.  13.    Fine  open  weather. 

"    17.    Somewhat  colder. 

74  THE   SKAT   OF    KMJ'11!K. 

Feb.  14.  Weather  open. 

"     IG.  Snow  rapidly  disappearing. 

Mar.  11.  More  snow. 

"     1 7.  Firing  pasture-grounds  to-day. 

"     18.  Tlnuider-storm. 

"     21.  Ducks  and  geese  returning. 

"    30.  More  snow,  but  it  is  rapidly  disappearing. 

"     31.  Snow  quite  gone. 

April  7.  Ploughing  commenced. 

"     28.  First  wheat  sown." 

The  succeeding  winter  was  more  severe,  and 
three  feet  of  snow  fell  during  the  season,  but  the 
spring  opened  quite  as  early  as  in  1856.  The 
comparative  mildness  of  the  winter  climate  of  all 
this  vast  area  of  the  West  and  NortliAvest,  at  the 
head-waters  of  the  Missouri,  and  in  the  British 
dominions,  as  far  north  as  latitude  ^°,  is  in  a  great 
measure  due  to  the  warm  winds  of  the  Pacific. 

In  the  autumn  of  18G8  I  crossed  the  Pacific, 
from  Japan  to  San  Francisco,  in  the  Pacific  mail- 
steamer  Colorado.  Soon  after  leaving  the  Bay  of 
Yokohama  we  entered  the  Kuro-Siwo,  or  the  Black 
Ocean  Eiver  of  the  Asiatic  coast.  This  ocean  cur- 
rent bears  a  remarkable  resemblance  to  the  Gulf 
Stream  of  the  Atlantic.  Along  the  eastern  shore 
of  Japan  the  water,  like  that  along  Virginia  and 
S  the  Carolinas,  is  very  cold,  but  we  suddenly  pass 
\  into  the  heated  river,  which,  starting  from  the 
vicinity  of  the  Philippine  Islands,  laves  the  east- 

THE  llED  UIVEU  CUU^•TIlY.  75 

ei'ii  sliorc  of  Formosa,  and  rushes  past  the  Bay  of 
Y"clilo  at  the  rate  of  'eighty  miles  per  clay.  Tliis 
lieatcd  river  strikes  across  the  Nortliern  Pacific  to 
l^)ritish  Columbia  and  Puget  Sound,  giving  a  genial 
cUmate  nearly  up  to  the  Arctic  Circle.  No  icebergs 
are  ever  encountered  in  the  North  Pacific.  Tlie 
iiifhionce  of  the  Kuro-Siwo  upon  the  Northwest  is 
very  much  like  tliat  which  the  Gulf  Stream  has 
ii])on  England  and  Norway.  It  gives  to  Oregon, 
Washington,  British  Coluniljia,  and  Vancouver  Isl- 
and winters  so  mild  that  the  people  cannot  lay  in 
a  supply  of  ico'ivr  the  summer.  Hoses  bloom  in 
the  gardens  throughout  the  year.  So  the  water 
lieated  beneath  the  tropics,  off  the  eastern  coast  of 
Siain  and  north  of  Borneo,  flows  along  the  shore 
of  Japan  up  to  the  Aleutian  Isles,  imparting  its 
heat  to  the  air,  which,  under  the  universal  law, 
ascends  when  heated,  and  sweeps  over  che  Eocky 
^lountains,  and  tempers  the  climate  east  of  them 
almost  to  Hudson  Bay. 

So  wonderfully  arranged  is  this  mighty  machin- 
ery of  nature,  that  millions  of  the  human  race  in 
coining  years  will  rear  their  habitations  and  enjoy 
tlie  l)lessings  of  civilization  in  regions  that  other- 
wise would  be  pathless  solitudes. 

In  the  meteorological  register  kept  at  Carlton 
House,  in  lat.  52°  51',  on  the  eastern  limit  of  the 
Saskatchawan  Plain,  eleven  hundred  feet  above  the 
sea,  we  find  this  entry :  "  At  this  place  westerly 



winds  l)i'ing  mild  weather,  and  the  easterly  ones 
are  attended  by  fo^;  and  snow." 

By  tlie  following  tabular  statement  we  see  at  a 
glance  the  snow-fall  at  various  places  in  the  United 
States.  "VVe  give  average  depths  for  the  winter  as 
set  down  in  Blodget's  climatology. 

Oxford  County,  Maine 

Dover,  New  Hampshire 

Montreal,  Canada    .... 

Burlington,  Vermont   . 

Worcester,  Massachusetts 

Cincinnati,  Ohio .... 

Burlington,  Iowa      .... 

Beloit,  Wisconsin 

Fort  Abercrombie,  Dakota 

From  this  testimony  I  am  impelled  to  believe 
that  the  immense  area  west  of  Lake  Superior  and 
south  of  the  GOth  parallel  is  as  capal)le  of  being 
settled  as  those  portions  of  Eussia,  Sweden,  and 
Norway  south  of  that  degree,  now  swarming  with 
j)eople.  Tliat  parallel  passes  through  St.  Peters- 
burg, Stockholm,  Christian ia,  and  the  Shetland 
Isles  on  the  eastern  hemisphere,  Fort  Liard  and 
Central  Alaska  on  the  western. 














HUXDTiEDS  of  "\Vinnipeg[]jcrs  wore  upon  the 
road,  eitlier  j^oing  to  or  returning  trom  St. 
Cluiid,  from  wlience  all  groceriv'S  and  other  sup- 
plies are  obtained.  The. teams  consist  of  a  single 
horse  or  ox,  not  unfrequently  a  cow,  harnessed  to 
a  two-wheeled  cart.  The  outfit  is  a  curiosity.  The 
wheels  are  six  or  seven  feet  in  diameter,  and  very 
dishing.  A  small  rack  is  affixed  to  the  wooden 
axle.  The  concern  is  composed  wholly  of  wood, 
with  a  few  raw-hide  thongs.  It  is  primitive  in 
design  and  construction,  and  though  so  rude,  though 
tliere  is  not  an  ounce  of  iron  about  the  cart,  it 
serves  the  purpose  of  these  voyagers  admirably. 
Our  teams  have  been  stuck  in  the  mud,  at  the 
crossings  of  creeks,  half  a  dozen  times  a  day ;  but 
those  high- wheeled  carts  are  borne  up  by  the  grass 
roots  where  ours  go  down  to  the  hub. 

There  is  a  family  to  each  cart,  —  father,  mother, 
and  a  troop  of  frowzy-headed,  brown-faced  chil- 
dren, who,  though  shoeless  and  hatless  and  half 
naked,  are  as  happy  as  the  larks  singing  in  the 
meadows,  or  the  plover  skimming  the  air  on  quiv- 
ering wings.     They  travel  in  companies,  —  fifteen 

78  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

or  twenty  carts  in  a  caravan.  Wlien  night  conies 
on,  the  animals  are  turned  out  to  graze  ;  the  fami- 
lies cook  each  their. own  scanty  supply  of  food, 
smoke  their  pipes  by  the  glimmering  camp-fire, 
tell  their  stories  of  adventure  among  the  buffaloes, 
roll  themselves  in  a  blanket,  creep  beneath  their 
carts,  —  all  the  family  in  a  pile  if  the  night  is  cool, 
—  sleep  soundly,  and  are  astir  before  daylight,  and 
on  the  move  by  sunrise.  T]ie  journey  down  and 
back  is  between  eight  and  nine  hundred  miles ;  and 
as  the  average  distance  travelled  is  only  about 
twenty  miles  a  day,  it  takes  from  forty  to  fifty 
days  to  make  the  round  trip.  No  wonder  the 
people  of  that  settlement  are  anxious  to  have  a 
railroad  reach  the  Eed  Eiver. 

Leaving  the  Pembina  road  and  striking  west- 
ward to  the  river,  we  descend  tlie  bank  to  the 
bottom-land,  which  is  usually  about  twenty-five 
feet  below  the  general  surface  of  the  valley.  We 
cross  the  river  by  a  rope  ferry  kept  by  a  half-breed, 
and  strike  out  upon  the  Dakota  plain.  The  trail 
that  we  are  upon  bears  northwest,  and  is  the  main 
road  to  "Fort  Totten,  near  Lake  Miniwakan,  or  the 
"  Devil's  Lake,"  and  the  forts  on  the  Upper  Mis- 
souri. Here,  as  upon  the  Minnesota  side,  the  wild- 
flowers  are  blooming  in  luxuriance.  Our  horses 
remorselessly  trample  the  roses,  the  convolvulus, 
and  the  lilies  beneath  their  feet. 

The  prairie  chickens  are  whirring  in  every  direc- 


tion,  and  one  of  our  bluff  and  burly  teamsters,  who 
is  at  home  upon  the  prairies,  who  in  the  First  Min- 
nesota Ilegiment  faced  the  llebels  in  all  the  battles 
of  the  Peninsula,  who  was  in  the  thickest  of  the 
fight  at  Gettysburg,  who  has  hunted  Indians  over 
the  Upper  Missouri  region,  who  is  as  keen-sighted 
as  a  hawk,  takes  the  grouse  right  and  left  as 
they  rise.  His  slouched  liat  bobs  up  and  down 
everywhere.  He  seems  to  know  just  where  the 
gam»  is  ;  now  he  is  at  your  right  hand,  now  upon 
the  run  a  half-mile  away  upon  the  prairies.  He 
stops,  raises  his  gun,  —  there  is  a  puff  of  smoke, 
another,  and  he  has  two  more  chickens  in  his  bag. 
We  are  sure  of  having  good  suppers  as  long  as  he 
is  about. 

AVe  reach  Dakota  City,  —  another  thriving  town 
of  one  log-house, — peopled  by  Monsieur  Marchaud, 
a  French  Canadian,  his  Chippewa  wife  and  twelve 
children.  - 

While  our  tents  are  being  pitched,  we  cross  the 
river  by  another  ferry  to  Georgetown,  —  a  place 
consisting  of  two  dwellings  and  a  large  storeho.use 
owned  by  the  Hudson  Bay  Company.  This  is  the 
present  steamboat  landing,  though  sometimes  the 
one  steamer  now  on  the  river  goes  up  to  Fort 
Abercrombie.  The  river  is  narrow  and  winding 
south  of  this  point,  and  not  well  adapted  to  navi- 

We  find  an  obliging  young  Scotchman  with  a 


thin-l'aced  wife  in  possession  of  the  property  be- 
longing to  the  Company.  He  takes  care  of  the 
premises  througliXhe  year  on  a  salary  of  two  hun- 
dred dollars,  and  has  his  tea,  sugar,  and  groceries 
furnished  him.  He  can  cultivate  as  much  land  as 
he  pleases,  though  he  does  not  own  a  foot  of  it,  — 
neither  does  the  Company  own  an  acre.  It  belongs 
to  the  people  of  the  United  States,  and  any  brave 
young  man  with  a  large-hearted  wife  may  become 
possessor  of  these  beautiful  acres  if  he  will,  witli 
the  moral  certainty  of  finding  them  quadrupled  in 
value  in  five  years. 

This  great  highway  of  the  North  lies  along  the 
eastern  bank  of  the  river.  We  hcve  travelled  over 
it  all  the  w^ay  from  Fort  Abercrombie,  passing  and 
meeting  teams.  Here  we  see  a  train  of  thirty 
wagons  drawn  by  oxen,  loaded  with  goods  consist- 
ing of  boxes  of  tea,  sugar,  salt,  pork,  bacon,  and 
bales  of  cloth,  which  are  shipped  by  steamer  from 
this  landing.  The  teas  come  from  England  to 
Montreal,  are  there  shipped  to  Milwaukie,  and 
transported  by  rail  to  St.  Cloud.  Each  chest  is 
closely  packed  in  canvas  and  taken  through  in 
bond.  The  transportation  of  the  Hudson  Bay  Com- 
pany between  this  place  and  St.  Cloud  amounts  to 
about  seven  hundred  tons  per  annum. 

In  addition,  the  Eed  Eiver  transportation  car- 
ried on  by  the  Indians  and  half-breeds  is  very 
large.  About  twenty-five  hundred  carts  pass  down 


and  up  this  highway  during  the  year,  each  one 
carrying  upon  an  average  nine  hundred  pounds. 

Besides  all  this  there  is  the  United  States  gov- 
ernment transportation  to  Fort  Abercrombie  and 
the  forts  beyond,  amounting  last  year  to  eighteen 
liundred  tons.  The  rates  paid  by  the  War  Depart- 
ment government  for  transportation  are  S  1.3GJ  per 
liundred  pounds  for  every  liundred  miles.  All  of 
this  traffic  will  be  transferred  at  once  to  the  North- 
ern Pacific  Eailroad  upon  its  completion  to  the  Red 

The  estimated  value  of  the  lied  River  trade  is 
ten  millions  of  dollars  per  annum,  and  it  is  in- 
creasing every  year. 

The  keen-eyed  hunters  of  our  party  have  been 
on  the  lookout  for  a  stray  buffalo  or  a  deer,  but 
the  buffaloes  are  a  hundred  miles  away.  We  liear 
that  they  have  come  north  of  the  Missouri  in  great 
numbers,  and  those  who  are  to  go  West  antici- 
pate rare  F.j^ort.  For  want  of  a  buffalo-steak  we 
put  up  with  beef.  It  is  juicy  and  tender,  from  one 
of  Mr.  Marchaud's  heifers,  which  has  been  pur- 
chased for  the  party. 

It  is  a  supper  fit  for  sovereigns,  —  and  every  one 
is  a  sovereign  out  here,  on  the  unsursoyed  lands, 
of  which  we,  in  common  with  the  rest  of  the  peo- 
ple, are  proprietors.  We  are  lords  of  the  manor, 
and  we  have  sat  down  to  a  feast.  Our  eggs  are 
newly  laid  by  the  hens  of  Dakota  City,  our  milk 

4»  9 


is  fresh  from  the  cows  whose  bells  are  tinkling  in 
the  bushes  along  the  bank  of  the  river,  and  the 
cakes  upon  our  table  are  of  the  finest  flour  in 
the  world.  Hunger  furnishes  the  best  relish,  and 
when  the  cloth  is  removed  we  sit  around  the 
camp-fire  during  the  evening,  passing  away  tlie 
hours  with  wit,  repartee,  and  jest,  mingled  with 
sober  argument  and  high  intellectual  thought. 

Our  tents  are  pitched  upon  the  river's  bank. 
Far  away  to  the  south  we  trace  the  dim  outline 
of  the  timber  on  the  streams  flowing  in  from  the 
west.  Turning  our  eyes  in  that  direction,  we  see 
only  the  level  sea  of  verdure,  —  the  green  grass 
waving  in  the  evening  breeze.  At  this  place  our 
company  will  divide,  —  Governor  Marshall,  Mr. 
Holmes,  and  several  other  gentlemen,  going  on  to 
the  Missouri,  while  the  rest  of  us  will  travel  east- 
ward to  Lake  Superior. 

It  would  be  a  pleasure  to  go  wdth  them,  —  to 
ride  over  the  rolling  prairies,  to  fall  in  with 
buffaloes  and  try  my  pony  in  a  race  with  a  big 
bull.  It  would  be  thrilling,  —  only  if  the  hunted 
phould  right  about  face,  and  toss  the  hunter  on  his 
horns,  the  thrill  would  be  of  a  different  sort ! 

We  sit  by  our  camp-fires  at  night  with  our  faces 
and  hands  smeared  with  an  abominable  mixture 
prepared  by  our  M.  D.,  ostensibly  to  keep  the  mos- 
quitoes from  presenting  their  bills,  but  which  we 
surmise  is  a  little  game  of  his  to  daub  us  with  a 


diabolical  mixture  of  glycerine,  soap,  and  tar ! 
Our  tents  are  as  odorous  as  the  shop  of  a  keeper 
of  naval  stores.  There  is  an  all-pervading  smell 
of  oakum  and  turpentine.  Clouds  of  mosquitoes 
come,  take  a  whiff,  and  retire  in  disgust.  We  can 
hear  them  having  a  big  swear  at  the  Doctor  for 
compounding  such  an  ointment ! 

I  think  of  the  country  which  those  who  are 
going  west  will  see,  and  of  the  region  beyond,  —  the 
valley  of  the  Yellowstone,  the  Missouri,  the  slopes 
of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  and  the  hills  of  Montana, 
—  territory  to  be  included  in  the  future  Empire 
of  the  Northwest.  T  have  written  the  word,  but 
it  bears  no  political  meaning  in  these  notes.  It 
has  the  same  signification  as  when  applied  to  the 
State  of  New  York.  The  Empire  of  the  North- 
west will  be  the  territory  lying  north  of  the  cen- 
tral ridge  of  the  continent.  Milwaukie  may  be 
taken  as  a  starting-point  for  a  survey  of  tliis  im- 
perial domain.  That  city  is  near  the  43d  parallel ; 
following  it  westward,  we  see  that  it  passes  over 
the  mountain-range  on  whose  northern  slopes  the 
southern  affluents  of  the  Yellowstone  take  their 
rise.  All  the  fertile  valleys  of  the  Columbia  and 
its  tributaries  lie  north  of  this  parallel;  all  the 
streams  of  the  Upper  Missouri  country,  and  the 
magnificent  water-system  of  Puget  Sound,  and  the 
intricate  bays  and  inlets  of  British  Columbia, 
reaching  on  to  Alaska,  having  their  only  counter- 


part  in  the  fiords  of  Norway,  are  north  of  that 
degree  of  latitude.  I  liave  abeady  taken  a  view 
of  the  region  now  comprised  in  the  British  do- 
minions east  of  the  Eocky  Mountains ;  but  equally 
interesting  will  he  a  review  of  the  territories  of  the 
Republic,  —  Dakota,  Montana,  Idaho,  Oregon,  and 
"Washington,  also  British  Columbia  and  Vancouver. 

Dakota  contains  a  little  more  than  a  liundred 
and  fifty  thousand  square  miles,  —  nearly  enough 
territory  to  make  four  States  as  large  as  Ohio. 

"  The  climate  and  soil  of  Dakota,"  says  the 
Commissioner  of  Public  Lands,  General  Wilson,  in 
his  Report  for  1869,  "are  exceedingly  favorable  to 
the  growth  of  wheat,  corn,  and  other  cereals,  while 
all  the  fruits  raised  in  the  Northern  States  are 

here  produced  in  the   greatest   perfection 

The  wheat  crop  varied  from  twenty  to  forty  bush- 
els to  the  acre.  Oats  have  produced  from  fifty  to 
seventy  bushels  to  the  acre,  and  are  of  excellent 
quality"  (p.  144). 

Settlements  are  rapidly  extending  up  the  Mis- 
souri, and  another  year  will  behold  this  northern 
section  teeming  with  emigrants.  The  northern 
section  of  the  territory  is  bare  of  v70od,  but  the 
southern  portion  is  well  supplied  with  timber  in 
the  Black  Hills. 

Two  thousand  square  miles  of  the  region  of  the 
Black  Hills,  says  Professor  Hayden,  geologist  to 
the  United   States   Exploring  Expedition   under 


CJeiieral  Eeynolds,  is  covered  with  excellent  pine 
timber.  That  is  an  area  half  as  large  as  the  State 
of  Connecticut,  ample  for  the  southern  section  ; 
while  the  settlers  of  the  northern  portion  will  be 
within  easy  distance  by  rail  of  the  timbered  lands 
of  Minnesota. 

The  northern  half  of  Wyoming  is  north  of  the 
line  we  have  drawn  from  Milwaukie  to  the  Pa- 
cific, and  of  this  Territory  the  Land  Commissioner 
says :  "  A  large  portion  of  Wyoming  produces  a 
luxuriant  growth  of  short  nutritious  giass,  upon 
which  cattle  will  feed  and  fatten  during  summer 
and  winter  without  other  provender.  Those  lands, 
even  in  their  present  condition,  are  superior  for 
grazing.  The  climate  is  mild  and  healthy,  the  air 
and  water  pure,  and  springs  abundant "  (p.  159). 

Beyond  the  104th  meridian  lies  Montana,  a  lit- 
tle larger  than  Dakota,  with  area  enough  for  four 
States  of  the  size  of  Ohio. 

At  St.  Paul  I  was  fortunate  enough  to  fall  in 
with  Major-General  Hancock,  who  had  just  re- 
turned from  Montana,  and  who  was  enthusiastic  in 
its  praise. 

"  I  consider  it,"  he  said,  "  to  be  one  of  the  first 
grazing  countries  in  the  world.  Its  valleys  are 
exceedingly  fertile.  It  is  capable  of  sustaining  a 
dense  population." 

Wheat  grows  as  luxuriantly  in  the  valleys  at 
the  base  of  the  Eocky  Mountains  as  in  Minnesota. 


The  Territory  appears  to  be  richer  in  minerals  than 
any  other  section  of  the  country,  the  gold  product 
surpassing  tliat  of  any  otlier  State  or  Territory. 
More  tlian  one  hundred  million  dollars  have  been 
taken  .from  the  mines  of  Montana  since  the  discov- 
ery of  gold  in  this  territory  in  1862.  Coal  appears 
upon  the  Yellowstone  in  veins  ten,  fifteen,  and 
twenty  feet  in  thickness.  It  is  found  on  the  Big 
Horn  and  on  the  Missouri. 

"  From  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Horn,"  says  Pro- 
fessor Hayden,  "  to  the  union  of  the  Yellowstone 
with  the  Missouri,  nearly  all  the  way,  lignite  (coal) 

beds  occupy  the  whole  country The  beds 

are  well  developed,  and  at  least  twenty  or  thirty 
seams  are  shown,  varying  in  purity  and  thickness 
from  a  few  inches  to  seven  feet "  (lieport,  p.  59). 

The  mountains  are  covered  with  wood,  and  there 
will  be  no  lack  of  fuel  in  Montana.  The  timber 
lands  of  this  Territory  are  estimated  by  the  Land 
Commissioner  to  cover  nearly  twelve  millions  of 
acres,  —  an  area  as  large  as  New  Hampshire  and 
Vermont  combined.  The  agricultural  land,  or 
land  that  may  be  ploughed,  is  estimated  at 
twenty-three  million  acres,  nearly  as  much  as  is 
contained  in  the  State  of  Ohio.  The  grazing  lands 
are  put  down  at  sixty-nine  millions,  —  or  a  region 
as  large  as  New  York,  Pennsylvania,  and  New  Jer- 
sey together ! 

Is  n't  it  cold  ?    Are  not  the  winters  intolerable  ? 


Are  not  the  summers  short  in  ^Montana  ?     Many 
times  the  questions  have  been  asked. 

The  temperature  of  the  climate  in  winter  will 
be  seen  from  the  following  therraometrical  record 
kept  at  Virginia  City :  — 

18GG.     Dec.     Moan  for  the  month,  31°       above  zero. 
18G7.     Jan.        "  "  '<        23^73     "         " 

a        Feb.        "  "  "        26°  ''         " 

The  summer  climate  is  exceedingly  agreeable, 
and  admirably  ada]^ted  to  fruit  culture. 

In  July  last  Mr.  Milnor  Roberts,  Mr.  Thomas 
Canfield,  and  other  gentlemen  of  the  Pacific  ex- 
ploring party,  were  in  Montana.  Mr.  Roberts 
makes  our  mouths  water  by  his  description  of  the 
fruits  of  that  Territory. 

"  Missoula,"  he  says,  "  is  a  thriving  young  town 
near  the  western  base  of  the  Rocky  Mountains, 
containing  a  grist-mill,  saw-mill,  two  excellent 
stores,  and  from  twenty-five  to  thirty  dwellings,  a 
number  of  them  well  built.  I  visited  McWhirk's 
garden  of  five  acres,  where  I  found  ripe  tomatoes, 
watermelons,  muskmelons,  remarkably  fine  pota- 
toes, beans,  peas,  and  squashes  ;  also  young  apple- 
trees  and  other  fruit-trees,  and  a  very  fine  collec- 
tion of  flowers ;  and  all  this  had  been  brought 
about  from  the  virgin  soil  in  two  years,  and  would 
this  year  (1869)  yield  the  owner  over  two  thousand 
dollars  in  gold,  the  only  currency  known  in  Mon- 
tana "  (Report,  p.  23). 


This  fruit  and  flower  garden  is  about  one  liun- 
dred  miles  from  the  top  of  the  divide  between  the 
Atlantic  and  the  Pacific. 

Deer  Lodge  City,  fifteen  miles  from  the  dividing 
ridge,  is  situated  in  the  Deer  Lodge  Valley,  and  its 
attractions  are  thus  set  forth  by  Mr.  Eoberts :  — 

"  The  Deer  Lodge  Valley  is  very  wide,  in  places 
ten  to  fifteen  miles  from  the  hills  on  one  side  to 
the  hills  on  the  other,  nearly  level,  and  everywhere 
clothed  with  rich  grass,  upon  which  we  observed 
numerous  herds  of  tame  cattle  and  horses  feeding. 
The  Deer  Lodge  Creek  flows  through  it,  and  adds 
immensely  to  its  value  as  an  agricultural  region. 
Some  farms  are  cultivated  ;  but  farming  is  yet  in 
its  infancy,  and  there  are  thousands  of  acres  of 
arable  land  here  and  elsewhere  in  Montana  await- 
ing settlement "  (p.  25).  .; 

West  of  Montana  is  Idaho,  containing  eighty-six 
thousand  square  miles,  —  large  enough  for  two 
States  of  the  size  of  Ohio. .  Nearly  all  of  this 
Territory  lies  north  of  the  43d  parallel.  It  is  wa- 
tered by  the  Columbia  and  its  tributaries, —  moun- 
tain streams  fed  by  melting  snows. 

"  The  mountains  of  Idaho,"  says  the  Land  Com- 
missioner, in  his  exhaustive  Eeport  for  1869,  "  often 
attain  great  altitude,  having  peaks  rising  above  the 
line  of  perpetual  snow,  their  lower  slopes  being 
furrowed  with  numerous  streams  and  alternately 
clothed  with  magnificent  forests  and  rich  grasses. 


The  plains  are  elevated  table-lands  covered  with 
iiuligeuous  grasses,  constituting  pasturage  unsur- 
pa;^se(l  in  any  section  of  our  country.  Xunierous 
large  ilocks  of  sheep  and  h(3rds  of  domestic  cattle 
now  range  these  pastures,  requiring  but  little  other 
sustenance  throughout  the  entire  year,  and  no 
protection  from  the  weather  otlier  than  that  af- 
forded by  the  lower  valleys  or  the  canons,  in  which 
many  of  the  streams  take  their  way  through  tlie 
upland  country.  The  valleys  are  beautiful,  fertile 
depressions  of  tlie  surface,  protected  from  the 
searching  winds  of  summer  and  searching  blasts 
of  winter,  each  intersected  by  some  considerable 
stream,  adjoining  which  on  either  bank,  and  ex- 
tending to  the  commencement  of  the  rise  of  table- 
land or  mountain,  are  broad  stretches  of  prairies 
or  meadows  producing  the  richest  grasses,  and 
with  the  aid  of  irrigation,  crops  of  grain,  fruit,  and 
vegetables  superior  to  those  of  any  of  the  Eastern 
States,  and  rivalling  the  vegetation  of  the  Missis- 
sippi Valley.  The  pastures  of  these  valleys  are 
generally  uncovered  with  snow  in  the  most  severe 
winters,  and  afford  excellent  food  for  cattle  and 
slieep,  the  herbage  drying  upon  the  stalk  during 
the  later  summer  and  autumn  months  into  a  su- 
perior quality  of  hay.  As  no  artificial  shelter  from 
the  weather  is  here  required  for  sheep  or  cattle, 
stock-raising  is  attended  with  but  little  outlay  and 
is  very  profitable,  promising  soon  to  become  one 


of  the  greatest  sources  of  wealth  in  this  rapidly 
developing  but  still  underrated  Territory.  It  was 
considered  totally  valueless  except  for  mining  pur- 
poses, and  uninviting  to  the  agriculturist,  until 
emigration  disclosed  its  hidden  resources. 

"  It  is  the  favorite  custom  of  herdsmen  in  Idaho 
to  reserve  their  lower  meadows  for  winter  pastures, 
allowing  the  stock  to  range  the  higher  plains  dur- 
ing spring,  summer,  and  autumn ;  the  greater  ex- 
tent of  the  table-lands,  and  the  superior  adapta- 
bility of  the  valleys  for  agriculture  presenting 
reasons  for  the  adoption  of  this  method  as  one  of 
economical  importauce. 

"  The  climate  of  Idaho  varies  considerably  with 
the  degrees  of  latitude  through  which  its  limits 
extend,  but  not  so  much  as  would  naturally  be 
supposed  from  its  great  longitudinal  extension; 
the  isothermal  lines  of  the  Territory,  running  from 
east  to  west,  have  a  well-defined  northward  varia- 
tion, caused  by  the  influence  of  air  currents  from 
the  Pacific  Ocean.  Throughout  the  spring,  sum- 
mer, and  autumn  months,  in  the  northern  as  well 
as  the  southern  sections,  the  weather  is  generally 
delightful  and  salubrious ;  in  the  winter  months 
the  range  of  the  thermometer  depends  greatly  upon 
the  altitude  of  the  surface, — the  higher  mountains 
being  visited  by  extreme  cold  and  by  heavy  falls 
of  snow ;  the  lower  mountain-ranges  and  the  plains 
having  winters  generally  less  severe  than  those  of 


northern  Iowa  and  Wisconsin  or  central  Minne- 
sota, while  greater  dryness  of  the  atmosphere 
renders  a  lower  fall  of  the  thermometer  less  per- 
ceptible ;  and  the  valleys  being  rarely  visited  by 
cold  weather,  high  winds,  or  considerable  falls  of 
snow.  Considered  in  its  yearly  average,  the  cli- 
mate is  exactly  adapted  to  sheep-growing  and  the 
production  of  wool,  the  herding  of  cattle,  and 
manufacture  of  dairy  products,  the  raising  of 
very  superior  breeds  of  horses,  as  well  as  the 
culture  of  all  Northern  varieties  of  fruits,  such 
as  apples,  pears,  plums,  cherries,  peaches,  grapes, 
and  all  of  the  ordinary  cereals  and  vegetables  "  (p. 

This  is  all  different  from  what  '^^e  have  con- 
ceived the  Itocky  Mountains  to  be. 

When  the  government  reports  of  the  explorations 
of  1853  were  issued,  Jeff  Davis  w^as  Secretary  of 
War,  and  he  deliberately  falsified  the  report  of  Gov- 
ernor Stevens's  explorations  from  Lake  Superior 
to  the  valley  of  the  Columbia.  Governor  Stevens 
reported  that  the  route  passed  through  a  region 
highly  susceptible  of  agriculture ;  but  the  Secre- 
tary of  War,  even  then  plotting  treason,  in  his 
summary  of  the  advantages  of  the  various  routes, 
asserted  that  Governor  Stevens  had  overstated  tlie 
facts,  and  that  there  were  not  more  than  1,000 
square  miles,  or  640,000  acres,  of  agricultural  lands. 
The  Land  Commissioner  in  his  Eeport  estimates  the 

92  ■         THE  SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

amount  of  agriciltural  lands  at  16,925,000  acres. 
The  amount  of  improved  lands  in  Ohio  in  1860 
was  12,665,000  acres,  or  more  than  4,000,000  less 
than  the  available  agricultural  lands  in  Idaho. 
These  are  lands  that  need  no  irrigation.  Of  such 
lands  there  are  14,000,000  acres,  which,  in  the  lan- 
guage of  the  Commissioner,  are  "  redeemable  by 
irrigation  into  excellent  pasture  and  agricultural 
lands."  The  gTazing  -  lands  are  estimated  at 
5,000,000  acres,  tlie  timbered  lands  at  7,500,000 
acres,  besides  8,000,000  acres  of  mineral  lands.  Al- 
though the  population -of  Idaho  probably  does  not 
exceed  50,000,  half  of  whom  are  engaged  in  min- 
ing, the  value  of  the  agricultural  products  for  1868 
amounted  to  $  12,000,000,  while  the  mineral  pro- 
duct was  $  10,000,000.  •       ' 

Passing  on  to  Oregon  we  find  a  State  containing 
95,000  square  miles,  two  and  a  half  times  larger 
than  Ohio. 

"Oregon,"  says  General  Wilson,  in  his  Eeport 
upon  the  public  lands,  "  is  peculiarly  a  crop-raising 
and  fruit-growing  State,  though  by  no  means  de- 
ficient in  valuable  mineral  resources.  Possessing 
a  climate  of  unrivalled  salubrity,  abounding  in 
vast  tracts  of  rich  arable  lands,  heavily  timbered 
throughout  its  mountain  ranges,  watered  by  innu- 
merable springs  and  streams,  and  subject  to  none 
of  the  drawbacks  arising  from  the  chilling  winds 
and  seasons  of  aridity  which  prevail  farther  south, 


it  is  justly  considered  tlie  most  favored  region  on 
the  Pacific  slope  as  a  home  for  an  agricalt  iral  and 
manufacturing  population  "  (p.  197). 

Of  "  western  Oregon,"  he  says,  "  the  portion  of 
the  State  first  settled  embraces  about  31,000 
square  miles,  or  20,000,000  acres,  being  nearly  one 
third  of  the  area  of  the  whole  State,  and  con- 
tains the  great  preponderance  of  population  and 
wealth.  Nearly  the  whole  of  this  large  extent  of 
country  is  \  iiluable  for  agriculture  and  grazing ; 
all  of  the  productions  common  to  temperate  re- 
gions may  be  cultivated  here  with  success.  When 
the  land  is  properly  cultivated,  the  farmer  rarely 
fails  to  meet  with  an  adequate  rcAvard  for  his  la- 
bors. The  fruits  produced  here,  such  as  apples, 
pears,  plums,  quinces,  and  grapes,  are  of  supe- 
rior quality  and  flavor.  Large  quantities  of  ap- 
ples are  annually  shipped  to  the  San  Francisco 
market,  where  they  usually  command  a  higher 
price  than  those  of  California,  owing  to  their  finer 

"The  valleys  of  the  Willamette,  Umpqua,  and 
Eouge  Kivers,  are  embraced  within  this  portion 
of  the  State,  and  there  is  no  region  of  country  on 
tlie  continent  presenting  a  finer  field  for  agriculture 
and  stock-raising,  because  of  the  mildness  of  the 
climate  and  the  depth  and  richness  of  the  soil. 
Farmers  make  no  provision  for  housing  their  cattle 
during  winter,  and  none  is  required ;  although  in 


about  the  same  latitude  as  Maine  on  the  Atlantic, 
the  winter  temperature  corresponds  with  that  of 
Savannah,  Georgia"  (p.  194). 

North,  of  Oregon  lies  the  Territory  of  Washing- 
ton, containing  70,000  square  miles,  lacking  only 
9,000  to  make  it  twice  as  large  as  Ohio. 

Our  camp,  where  I  am  taking  tlijs  westward 
look,  is  pitched  very  near  the  47th  parallel,  may 
be  five  or  six  miles  north  of  it.  If  I  were  to  travel 
due  west  along  the  parallel  a  little  more  than 
twelve  hundred  miles,  1  should  reach  Olympia,  the 
capital  of  the  Territory,  situated  on  Puget  Sound, 
—  the  name  given  to  that  vast  ramification  of  wa- 
ters known  as  the  Strait  of  Juan  de  Fuca,  Admi- 
ralty Inlet,  Hood's  Canal,  and  Puget  Sound,  with  a 
shore  line  of  1,500  miles. 

"There  is  no  State  in  the  Union,"  says  the 
Land  Commissioner,  "  and  perhaps  no  country  in 
the  world  of  the  same  extent,  that  offers  so  many 
harbors  and  such  excellent  facilities  for  commerce  " 
(p.  198). 

The  timbered  lands  of  Washington  are  approxi- 
mately estimated  at  20,000,000  acres,  and  the  prai- 
rie lands  cover  an  area  equally  great.  The  forests 
embrace  the  red  and  yellow  pine  of  gigantic 
growth,  often  attaining  the  height  of  three  hun- 
dred feet,  and  from  nine  to  twelve  feet  in  diameter. 
It  is  said  that  a  million  feet  have  been  cut  from  a 
single  acre !     Says  the  Commissioner,  "  The  soil 


ill  the  river-bottoms  is  thinly  timbered  witli 
maple,  ash,  and  willow.  These  lands  yield  heavy 
crops  of  wheat,  barley,  and  oats,  while  vegetables 
attain  enormous  size.    The  highlands  are  generally 

rolling,  and  well  adapted  to  cultivation The 

average  yield  of  potatoes  to  the  acre  is  six  hun- 
(h'ed  bushels,  wheat  forty,  peas  sixty,  timothy-hay 
five  tons,  and  oats  seventy  bushels"  (p.  199). 

Mr.  Eoberts,  who  explored  this  region  last  year, 
says  that  the  great  plain  of  the  Columbia  is  "  a 
high  rolling  prairie,  covered  everywhere  abundant- 
ly with  bunch-grass  to  the  summits  of  the  highest 
liills  ;  treeless,  excepting  along  the  streams.  This 
is  an  immense  grazing  area  of  the  most  superior 
character,  interspersed  with  the  valleys  of  peren- 
nial streams,  along  which  are  lands  that,  when 
settled  by  industrious  farmers,  will  be  of  the  most 
productive  character,  as  we  have  seen  in  tlie  case 
of  a  number  of  improvements  already  made ;  / 
while  the  climate  is  not  only  salubrious,  but  re-  ■ 
markably  attractive  "  (Report,  p.  19). 

He  gives  this  estimate  of  the  area  suited  to 
agriculture  and  grazing:  — 

"  In  Washington  Territory  alone,  on  its  eastern 
side,  there  are  at  least  20,000  square  miles,  or 
12,800,000  acres  of  the  finest  grazing-lands,  on 
which  thousands  of  cattle  and  sheep  will  be  raised 
as  cheaply  as  in  any  other  quarter  of  the  globe, 
and  this  grass  is  so  nutritious  that  the  cattle  raised 

96  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

upon  it  cannot  be  surpassed  in  their  weight  and 
quality.  Snow  rarely  falls  to  sufficient  depth  to 
interfere  seriously  with  their  grazing  all  through 
the  winter.  Such  may  be  taken  as  a  general  view 
upon  this  important  point,  respecting  a  Territory 
nearly  half  as  large  as  the  State  of  Pennsylvania  " 
(p.  19). 

Along  the  shores  of  Piiget  Sound,  and  on  the 
island   of  Vancouver,   are  extensive   deposits   of 
bituminous  coal,  conveniently  situated  for  the  fu- 
ture steam-marine  of  the  Pacific.     Large  quanti- 
ties are  now  shipped  to  San  Francisco  for  the  use 
of  the  Pacific  mail-steamers. 
/       Not  only  in  Washington,  but  up  the  coast  of 
^.    British  Columbia,  the  coal-deposits  crop  out  in 
\  numerous  places.  •     . 

..    An  explorer  on  Simpson  Eiver,  which  next  to 

/  the  Eraser  is  the  largest  in  British  Columbia,  thus 

L  writes  to  Governor  Douglas :  "  I  saw  seams  of  coal 

to-day  fifteen  feet  thick,  better  than  any  mined  at 

V  Vancouver  "  (Parliamentary  Blue-Book.) 

Coal  in  Montana,  in  Idaho,  in  Washington,  on 
Vancouver,  in  British  Columbia ;  coal  on  the 
Missouri,  the  Yellowstone,  the  Columbia,  the 
Eraser;  coal  on  Simpson  Eiver,  coal  in  Alaska! 
Measureless  forests  all  over  the  Pacific  slope ! 
timber  enough  for  all  the  world,  masts  and  spars 
sufficient  for  the  mercantile  marine  of  every  nation ! 
Great  rivers,  thousands  of  waterfalls,  unequalled 



facilities  for  manufacturing  !  An  agricultural  re- 
gion unsurpassed  for  fertility !  Exhaustless  min- 
eral wealth !  Fisheries  equalling  those  of  New- 
foundland,—  salmon  in  every  stream,  cod  and 
lierring  abounding  along  the  coast !  Nothing 
wanting  for  a  varied  industry. 

Unfold  the  map  of  North  America  and  look  at 
its  western  coast.  From  Panama  northward  there 
is  no  harbor  that  can  ever  be  available  to  the  com- 
merce of  the  Pacific  till  we  reach  the  Bay  of  San 
Francisco.  From  thence  northward  to  the  Colum- 
bia the  waves  of  the  sea  break  against  rugged 
mountains.  The  Columbia  pours  its  waters  through 
the  Coast  Eange,  but  a  bar  at  its  mouth  has  prac- 
tically closed  it  to  commerce.  Not  till  we  reach 
Puget  Sound  do  we  find  a  good  harbor.  North  of 
that  magnificent  gateway  are  numberless  bays  and 
inlets.  Like  the  coast  of  Maine,  there  is  a  harbor 
every  five  or  ten  miles,  where  ships  may  ride  in 
safety,  sheltered  from  storms,  and  open  at  all  sea- 
sons of  the  year.  There  never  will  be  any  ice- 
bound ships  on  the  coast  of  British  Columbia,  for 
the  warm  breath  of  the  tropics  is  felt  there  through- 
out the  year. 

AVliile  the  map  is  unfolded,  look  at  Puget  Sound, 

and  think  of  its  connection  with  Japan  and  China. 

Latitude  and  longitude  are  to  be  taken  into  ac- 

count  when  we  make  long  journeys.     Liverpool  is 

between  the  53d  and  54th  parallels,  or  about  two 
5  o 

98  THE   SEAT   OF   EMriliE. 

hundred  and  sixty  miles  farUicr  nortli  than  Piiget 
Sound,  wliere  a  degree  of  longitude  is  only 
thirty-iive  miles  in  length.  Puget  Sound  is  on  the 
49th  parallel,  where  the  degrees  are  thirty-eight 
and  a  half  miles  in  length.  San  Francisco  is  near 
the  37th  parallel,  where  the  degrees  are  nearly 
forty-nine  miles  in  length.  Liverpool  is  three  de- 
grees west  of  Greenwich,  from  which  longitude  is 
reckoned.  The  122d  meridian  passes  through  Pu- 
get Sound  and  also  through  the  Bay  of  San  Fran- 
cisco. It  follows  from  all  this  that  the  distance 
from  Liverpool  in  straight  lines  to  these  two  mag- 
nificent gateways  of  the  Pacific,  in  geographical 
miles,  is  as  follows :  — 

Liverpool  to  San  Francisco     .     4,879  miles. 
«         "  Puget  Sound   .     .4,487      " 

,'  Difference,         392      " 

Looking  across  the  Pacific  we  see  that  Yoko- 
hama is  on  the  35th  parallel,  where  a  degree  of 
longitude  is  forty-nine  miles  in  length.,  Pteckon- 
in^  the  distance  across  the  Pacific  between  Yoko- 
hama  and  the  western  gateways  of  the  continent, 
we  have  this  comparison  :  —  . 

San  Francisco  to  Yokohama   .     4,856  miles. 
Puget  Sound     "         "         .     .  4,294     "  . 

Difference,         562      " 

Adding  these  differences  together,  we  see  that  Ion- 

THE   EMi'lKK   UF  THE   NOKTHW'Kfc;!.  99 

gitude  alone  makes  a  total  of  nine  hundred  and 
fifty-four  miles  in  favor  of  ru<^et  Sound  between  — 
Liverpool  and  Yokohama.  When  the  Northern 
Pacitic  Railroad  is  completed,  Chicago  will  be  fully 
six  hundred  miles  nearer  Asia  by  Puget  Sound 
than  by  San  Francisco. 

Vessels  sailing  from  Japan  to  San  Francisco 
follow  the  Kuro-Siwo,  the  heated  river,  which 
of  itself  bears  them  towards  Puget  Sound  at  the 
rate  of  eighty  miles  a  day.  They  follow  it  into 
northern  latitudes  till  within  three  or  four  hun- 
dred miles  of  the  coast  of  British  Columbia,  then 
shape  their  course  southward  past  Puget  Sound  to 
the  Golden  Gate. 

In  navigation,  then,  Asia  is  nearly,  if  not  quite, 
one  thousand  miles  nearer  the  ports  of  Puget 
Sound  than  San  Francisco.  The  time  will  come  \ 
when  not  only  Puget  Sound,  but  every  bay  and  - 
inlet  of  the  northwest  coast,  wilL  be  whitened 
with  sails  of  vessels  bringing  the  products  of  the 
Orient,  not  only  for  those  who  dwell  upon  the 
Pacific  slope,  but  for  the  mighty  multitude  of  the 
Empire  of  the  Northwest,  of  the  Mississippi  Val- 
ley, and  the  Atlantic  States. 

From  those  land-locked  harbors  steamships 
shall  depart  for  other  climes,  freighted  with  the 
products  of  this  region,  spun  and  woven,  ham- 
mered and  smelted,  sawed  and  planed,  by  the 
millions  of  industrious  workers  who  are  to  ina- 

100  THE  SEAT  OF  EMriKE. 

prove  the  unparalleled  capabilities  of  tliis  vast 

There  is  not  on  the  face  of  the  globe  a  country 
so  richly  endowed  as  this  of  the  Northwest.  Here 
we  find  every  element  necessary  for  the  develop- 
ment of  a  varied  industry,  —  agricidtural,  miniiip^, 
manufacturing,  mercantile,  and  commercial,  —  all 
this  with  a  climate  like  that  of  southern  I'rance, 
or  central  and  northern  Europe. 

"  The  climate,"  says  Mr.  Itoberts,  "  of  this  fa- 
vored region  is  very  remarkable,  and  wdll  always 
remain  an  attractive  feature ;  which  must,  there- 
fore, aid  greatly  in  the  speedy  settlement  of  this 
portion  of  the  Pacific  coast.  Even  in  the  cold- 
est winters  there  is  practically  no  obstruction 
to  navigation  from  ice  ;  vessels  can  enter  and 
depart  at  all  times ;  and  the  winters  are  so 
mild  that  summer  flowers  which  in  the  latitude 
of  Philadelphia,  on  the  Atlantic  coast,  we  are 
obliged  to  place  in  the  hot-house,  are  left  out  in  the 
open  garden  without  being  injured.  The  cause  of 
this  mildness  is  usually,  and  I  think  correctly, 
ascribed  to  the  warm-water  equatorial  current, 
which,  impinging  against  the  Pacific  coast,  north 
of  the  Strait  of  Juan  de  Euca,  passes  along  nearly 
parallel  with  the  shore,  diffusing  its  genial  warmth 
over  the  land  far  into  the  interior.  Of  the  fact 
there  is  no  doubt,  whatever  may  be  the  cause" 
(Eeport,  p.  14). 


The  climate  of  eastern  Washington,  amid  the 
mountains,  corresponds  with  tliat  of  Pennsylvania ; 
l»ut  upon  the  sea-coast  and  along  the  waters  of 
Paget  Sound  roses  blossom  in  the  open  air  through- 
out the  year,  and  the  residents  gatlier  green  peas 
and  strawberries  in  ^larch  and  A])ril. 

In  a  former  view  we  looked  at  the  territory  be- 
longing to  Great  Britain  lying  east  of  the  Eocky 
^fountains,  we  saw  its  capabilities  for  settlement; 
but  far  different  in  its  pliysical  features  is  British 
Columbia  from  the  Saskatchawan  country.  It  is 
a  land  of  mountains,  plains,  valleys,  and  forests, 
tlu'eaded  by  rivers,  and  indented  by  bays  and  inlets. 
The  main  branch  of  the  Columbia  rises  in  the  Brit- 
ish Possessions,  between  the  Cascade  Bange  and 
the  Rocky  Mountains.  There  is  a  great  amphi- 
theatre between  those  two  ranges,  having  an  area 
of  forty-five  thousand  square  miles.  "NVe  hardly 
comprehend,  even  with  a  map  spread  out  before 
us,  that  there  is  an  area  larger  than  Ohio  in  the 
basin  drained  by  the  northern  branch  of  the  Colum- 
bia. But  such  is  the  fact,  and  it  is  represented 
as  being  a  fertile  and  attractive  section,  possessed 
of  a  mild  and  equable  climate.  The  stock-raisers 
of  southern  Idaho  drive  their  cattle  by  the  ten 
thousand  into  British  Columbia  to  find  winter  pas- 
turage ! 

The  general  characteristics  of  that  area  have  been 
fully  set  forth  in  a  paper  read  before  the  Royal 

102  .  THE  SEAT  OF  EMriRE. 

Geograpliical  Society  of  London  by  Lieutenant 
Palmer  of  the  Royal  Engineers.     He  says :  — 

"  The  scenery  of  the  M'liole  midland  belt,  espe- 
cially of  tliat  portion  of  it  lyin.t^'to  the  east  of  tlie 
124tli  meridian,  is  exceedingly  beautiful  and  pic- 
tures(pie.  The  highest  uplands  are  all  more  or  less 
thickly  timbered,  but  the  valleys  present  a  delight- 
ful panorama  of  woodland  and  prairie,  flanked 
by  miles  of  rolling  hills,  swelling  gently  from  tlic 
margin  of  streams,  and  pictures(piely  dotted  with 
yellow  pines.  The  forests  are  almost  entirely  fi-ee 
from  underwood,  and  with  the  exception  of  a  few 
worthless  tracts,  the  whole  face  of  the  country  — 
hill  and  dale,  Avoodland  and  plain — is  covered  witli 
an  abundant  growth  of  grass,  jiossessing  nutritious 
qualities  of  the  liighest  order.  Hence  its  value  to 
the  colony  as  a  grazing  district  is  of  the  liighest 
importance.  Cattle  and  horses  are  found  to  thrive 
wonderfully  on  the  'bunch'  grass,  and  to  keep 
in  excellent  condition  at  all  seasons.  The  whole 
area  is  more  or  less  available  for  grazing  purposes. 
/  Thus  the  natural  pastures  of  the  middle  belt  may 
be  estimated  at  hundreds,  or  even  thousands,  of 
square  miles. 

"  Notwithstanding  the  elevation,  the  sea,  ons  ex- 
hibit no  remarkable  extremes  of  temperature ;  the 
winters,  though  sharp  enough  for  all  the  rivers  and 
lakes  to  freeze,  are  calm  and  clear,  so  that  the  cold, 
even  when  most  severe,  is  not  keenly  felt.    Snow 


seldom  exceeds  eij^liteeu  inches  in  dci)tli,  and  in 
many  valleys  of  moderate  elevation  cattle  often 
iTinge  at  large  during  the  winter  months,  without 
retiiiiring   shelter  or   any   food   but   the    natural 

grasses Judging  from  present  experience, 

there  can  he  no  doubt  that  in  point  of  salubrity 
the  climate  of  Britisli  Colund)ia  excels  that  of 
(}reat  Britain,  and  is  indeed  one  of  the  linest  in 
the  world." 

In  regard  to  the  agricultural  capabilities  of  this 
mountain  region,  the  same  autlior  remarks :  — 

"  Here  in  sheltered  and  well-irrigated  valleys,  at 
altitudes  of  as  much  as  2,500  feet  above  the  sea,  a 
few  farming  experiments  have  been  made,  and  the 
results  have  thus  far  been  beyond  measure  encour- 
aging. At  farms  in  the  San  Jose  and  Beaver  val- 
leys, situated  nearly  2,200  feet  above  the  sea,  and 
again  at  Fort  Alexander,  at  an  altitude  of  1,450 
feet,  wheat  has  been  found  to  produce  nearly  forty 
bushels  to  the  acre,  and  other  grain  and  vegetable 

crops  in  proportion It  may  be  asserted  that 

two  thirds  at  least  of  this  eastern  division  of  the 
central  belt  may,  when  occasion  arrives,  be  turned    / 
to  good  account  either  for  purposes  of  grazing  or 

Probably  there  are  no  streams,  bays,  or  inlets  in 
the  world  that  so  abound  with  fish  as  the  salt  and 
fresh  waters  of  the  northwest  Pacific.  The  cod 
and  herring  fisheries  are  equal  to  those  of  New- 



foundland,  while  every  stream  descending  from  the 
mountains  literally  swarms  with  salmon. 

In  regard  to  the  fislieries  of  British  Columbia, 
Lieutenant  Palmer  says :  — 

"  The  whole  of  the  inlets,  hays,  rivers,  and  lakes 
of  British  Columbia  abound  with  delicious  fish. 
The  quantity  of  salmon  that  ascend  the  Eraser  and 
other  rivers  on  the  coast  seems  incredible.  They 
first  enter  Fraser  and  other  rivers  in  March,  and 
are  followed  in  rajnd  succession  by  other  varieties, 
which  continue  to  arrive  until  the  approach  of 
winter ;  but  the  great  runs  occur  in  July,  August, 
and  September.  During  these  months  so  abundant 
is  thp  supply  that  it  may  be  asserted  without  ex- 
aggeration, that  some  of  the  smaller  streams  can 
hardly  be  forded  without  stepping  upon  them." 
(Journal  of  the  Geographical  Society.) 

Ah  !  would  n't  it  be  glorious  sport  to  pull  out 
the  twenty-five-pounders  from  the  foaming  waters 
of  the  Columbia,  —  to  land  them,  one  after  another, 
on  the  grassy  bank,  and  see  the  changing  light 
upon  their  shining  scales  !  and  then  sitting  down 
to  dinner  to  have  one  of  the  biggest  on  a  platter, 
delicately  baked  or  boiled,  with  prairie  chicken, 
plover,  pigeon,  and  wild  duck !  We  will  have  it 
by  and  by,  when  Governor  Smith  and  Judge  Eice, 
who  are  out  here  seeing  about  the^ailroad,  get  the 
cars  running  to  the  Pacific ;  they  will  supply  all 
creation  east  of  the  Kocky  Mountains  with  salmon  I 


Tlicre  are  not  iaany  of  us  who  can  afford  to  dine 
oft'  salmon  when  it  is  a  dollar  a  pound,  and  the 
larger  part  of  the  crowd  can  never  have  a  taste 
even ;  but  these  railroad  gentlemen  will  bring. 
about  a  new  order  of  things.  When  they  get  tlie 
locomotive  on  the  completed  track,  and  make  the 
run  from  the  Columbia  to  Chicago  in  about  sixty 
hours,  as  they  will  be  able  to  do,  all  hands  of  us 
who  work  for  our  daily  bread  will  be  able  to  have 
fresh  salmon  at  cheap  rates. 

What  a  country  !  I  have  drawn  a  hypothetical 
line  from  Milwaukie  to  the  Paciiic,  —  not  that  the 
region  south  of  it  —  Missouri,  Kansas,  Nebraska,  or 
California  —  does  not  abound  in  natural  resour- 
ces, with  fruitful  soil  and  vast  capabilities,  but  be- 
cause the  configuration  of  the  continent  —  the 
water-systems,  the  mountain-ranges,  tlie  eleva- 
tions and  depressions,  the  soil  and  climate  —  is 
ill  many  respects  different  north  of  the  43d  par- 
allel from  what  it  is  south  of  it.  We  need  not  look 
upon  the  territory  now  held  by  Great  Britain  with 
a  covetous  eye.  The  49th  parallel  is  an  imaginary 
line  running  across  the  prairies,  an  arbitrary  polit- 
ical boundary  which  Nature  will  not  take  into 
account  in  her  disposition  of  affairs  in  the  future. 
Sooner  or  later  the  line  will  fade  away.  Eailway 
trains  —  the  constant  passing  and  repassing  of  a 
multitude  of  people  speaking  the  same  language, 
having  ideas  in  common,  and  related  by  blood  — 



will  rub  it  out,  and  there  will  be  one  country,  one 
people,  one  government.  What  an  empire  then ! 
The  region  west  of  Lake  Michigan  and  north  of 
the  latitude  of  Milwaukie  —  the  43d  parallel  ex- 
tended to  the  Pacific  —  will  give  to  the  nation,  to 
say  nothing  of  Alaska  Territory,  forty  States  as 
large  as  Ohio,  or  two  hundred  States  of  the  size 
of  Massachusetts! 

I  have  been  accustomed  to  look  upon  this  part 
of  the  world  as  being  so  far  north,  so  cold,  so 
snowy,  so  distant,  —  and  all  the  other  imaginary 
""    so's,  —  that  it  never  could  be  available  for  settle- 
ment ;  but  the  facts  show  that  it  is  as  capable  of 
settlement  as  New  York  or  New  England,  —  that 
/  the  country  along  the  Athabasca  has  a  climate  no 
)  more  severe  than  that  of  northern  New  Hamp- 
i    shire  or  Maine,  while  the  summers  are  more  favor- 
i   able  to  the  growing  of  grains  than  those  of  the 
'  northern  Atlantic  coast. 

It  is  not,  therefore,  hypothetical  geography.  Fol- 
lowing the  43d  parallel  eastward,  we  find  it  passing 
along  the  northern  shore  of  the  Mediterranean, 
through  central  Italy,  and  through  the  heart  of 
the  Turkish  Empire.  Nearly  all  of  Europe  lies 
north  of  it,  —  the  whole  of  France,  half  of  Italy, 
the  whole  of  the  Austrian  Empire,  and  all  of 
Eussia's  vast  dominions. 

The  entire  wheat-field  of  Europe  is  above  that 
parallel.     The  valleys  of  the  Alps  lying  between 


the  46th  and  50tli  parallels  swarm  with  an  in- 
dustrious people ;  why  may  not  those  of  the  Rocky 
Mountains  at  tlie  head-waters  of  the  Missouri  and 
Columbia  in  like  manner  be  hives  of  industry  in 
the  future  ? 

If  a  Christiania,  a  Stockholm,  and  a  St.  Peters- 
burg, with  golden-domed  churches,  gorgeous  pal- 
aces, and  abodes  of  comfort,  can  be  built  up  in 
lat.  60  in  the  Old  World,  why  may  we  not  ex- 
pect to  see  their  counterpart  in  the  New,  when 
we  take  into  account  the  fact  that  a  heated  cur- 
rent from  the  tropics  gives  the  same  mildness  of 
climate  to  the  northwestern  section  of  this  conti- 
nent that  the  Gulf  Stream  gives  to  northern  Eu- 
rope ? 

With  this  outlook  towards  future  possibilities, 
we  see  Minnesota  the  central  State  of  the  Conti- 
nental Republic  of  the  future. 

With  the  map  of  the  continent  before  me,  I 
stick  a  pin  into  Minneapolis,  and  stretch  a  string 
to  Halifax,  then,  sweeping  southward,  find  that  ^ 
it  cuts  through  southern  Florida,  and  central 
Mexico.  It  reaches  almost  to  San  Diego,  the  ex- 
treme southwestern  boundary  of  the  United  States, 
—  reaches  to  Donner  Pass  on  the  summit  of  the 
Sierra  Ne\'adas,  within  a  hundred  miles  of  Sac- 
ramento. Stretching  it  due  west,  it  reaches  to 
Salem,  Oregon.  Carrying  it  northwest,  I  find  that* 
it  reaches  tc  the  Rockv  Mountain  House  on  Peace 

108  .  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

Eiver,  —  to  that  region  whose  beauty  charmed 
Mackenzie  and  Father  De  Smet.  The  Peace  Eiver 
flows  through  the  Eocky  Mountains,  and  at  its 
head-waters  we  find  the  lowest  pass  of  the  conti- 
nent. The  time  may  come  when  we  of  the  East 
will  whirl  through  it  upon  the  express-train  bound 
for  Sitka !  It  is  two  hundred  miles  from  the  Eocky 
Mountain  House  to  that  port  of  southern  Alaska. 

The  city  of  Mexico  is  nearer  Minneapolis  by 
nearly  a  hundred  miles  than  Sitka.  Trmity  Bay 
on  the  eastern  coast  of  Newfoundland,  Puerto 
Principe  on  the  island  of  Cuba,  the  Bay  of  Hon- 
duras in  Central  America,  and  Sitka,  are  equidis- 
tant from  Minneapolis  and  St.  Paul. 

When  Mr.  Seward,  in  1860,  addressed  the  people 
of  St.  Paul  from  the  steps  of  the  Capitol,  it  was 
the  seer,  and  not  the  politician,  who  said :  — 

"  /  noio  believe  that  the  ultimate  last  seat  of  gov- 
ernment on  this  great  continent  will  he  found  some- 
where within  a  circle  or  radius  not  far  from  the 
spot  on  which  I  stand,  at  the  head  of  navigation  on 
the  Mississippi  Biver  !  " 




BOTTINEAU  is  our  guide.  Take  a  look  at 
him  as  he  sits  by  the  camp-fire  cleaning 
liis  rifle.  He  is  tall  and  well  formed,  with  features 
which  show  both  his  French  and  Indian  parent- 
age. He  has  dark  whiskers,  a  broad,  flat  nose,  a 
wrinkled  forehead,  and  is  in  the  full  prime  of  life. 
His  name  is  known  throughout  the  Northwest,  — 
among  Americans,  Canadians,  and  Indians.  The 
Chippewa  is  his  mother-tongue,  though  he  can 
speak  several  Indian  dialects,  and  is  fluent  in 
French  and  English.  He  was  born  not  far  from 
Fort  Garry,  and  has  traversed  the  vast  region  of 
the  Northwest  in  every  direction.  He  was  Gover- 
nor Stevens's  guide  when  he  made  the  first  explora- 
tions for  the  Northern  Pacific  Eailroad,  and  has 
guided  a  great  many  government  trains  to  the 
forts  on  the  Missouri  since  then.  He  was  with 
General  Sully  in  his  campaign  against  the  Indians. 
He  has  the  instinct  of  locality.  Like  the  honey- 
bee, which  flies  straight  from  the  flower  to  its  hive, 
over  fields,  through  forests,  across  ravines  or  inter- 
vening hiUs,  so  Pierre  Bottineau  knows  just  where 
to  go  when  out  upon  the  boundless  prairie  with 


no  landmark  to  guide  him.  He  is  never  lost,  even 
in  the  darkest  night  or  foggiest  day. 

There  is  no  man  living,  probably,  who  has 
more  enemies  than  he,  for  the  whole  Sioux  nation 
of  Indians  are  his  sworn  foes.  They  would  take 
his  scalp  instantly  if  they  could  only  get  a  chance. 
He  has  been  in  many  fights  with  them,  —  has 
killed  six  of  them,  has  had  narrow  escapes,  and 
to  hear  him  tell  of  his  adventures  makes  your 
hair  stand  on  end.  He  is  going  to  conduct  a  por- 
tion of  our  party  through  the  Sioux  country.  The 
Indians  ire  friendly  now,  and  the  party  will  not 
be  troubled ;  but  if  a  Sioux  buffalo-hunter  comes 
across  this  giiide  there  will  be  quick  shooting  on 
both  sides,  and  ten  to  one  the  Indian  will  go  down, 
—  for  Bottineau  is  keen-sighted,  has  a  steady 
hand,  and  is  quick  to  act. 

The  westward -bound  membei's  of  our  party, 
guided  by  Bottineau,  will  be  accompanied  by  an 
escort  consisting  of  nineteen  soldiers  commanded 
by  Lieutenant  Kelton.  Four  Indian  scouts,  mount- 
ed on  ponies,  are  engaged  to  scour  the  country  in 
advance,  and  give  timely  notice  of  the  presence  of 
Sioux,  who  are  always  on  the  alert  to  steal  horses 
or  plunder  a  train. 

Bidding  our  friends  good  by,  we  watch  their 
train  winding  over  the  prairie  till  we  can  only  see 
the  white  canvas  of  the  wagons  on  the  edge  of  the 
horizon  ;  then,  turning  eastward,  we  cross  the  river 


into  Minnesota,  and  strike  out  upon  the  pathless 
plain.  We  see  no  landmarks  ahead,  and,  like  navi- 
gators upon  the  ocean,  pursue  our  way  over  this 
sea  of  verdure  by  the  compass. 

After  a  few  hours'  ride,  we  catch,  through  the 
glimmering  haze,  the  faint  outlines  of  islands  ris- 
ing above  the  unruffled  waters  of  a  distant  lake. 
We  approach  its  shores,  but  only  to  see  islands 
and  lake  alike  vanish  into  thin  air.  It  was  the 
mirage  lifting  above  the  horizon  the  far-off  groves 
of  Buffalo  Creek,  a  branch  of  the  Red  Eiver. 

Far  away  to  the  east  are  the  Leaf  Hills,  which 
are  only  the  elevations  of  the  rolling  prairie  that 
forms  the  divide  between  the  waters  flowing  into 
the  Gulf  of  Mexico  and  into  Hudson  Bay. 
'  Wishing  to  see  the  hills,  to  ascertain  what  ob- 
stacles there  are  to  the  construction  of  a  railroad, 
two  of  us  break  away  from  the  main  party  and 
strike  out  over  the  plains,  promising  to  be  in 
camp  at  nightfall.  How  exhilarating  to  gallop 
over  the  pathless  expanse,  amid  a  sea  of  flowers, 
plunging  now  and  then  through  grass  so  high  that 
horse  and  rider  are  almost  lost  to  sight !  The 
meadow-lark  greets  us  with  his  cheerful  song  ;  the 
plover  hovers  around  us ;  sand-hill  cranes,  flying 
always  in  pairs,  rise  from  the  ground  and  wing 
their  way  beyond  the  reach  of  harm.  The  gophers 
chatter  like  children  amid  the  flowers,  as  we  ride 
over  their  subterranean  towns. 

112  .  THE  SEAT  OF  EMriKE. 

Tliey  are  in  peaceful  possession  of  the  solitude. 
Five  years  ago  buffaloes  were  roaming  here.  We 
see  their  bones  bleaching  in  the  sun.  Here  the 
Sioux  and  Chippewas  hunted  them  down.  Here 
the  old  bulls  fought  out  their  battles,  and  the 
countless  herds  cropped  the  succulent  grasses  and 
drank  the  clear  running  water  of  the  stream  which 
bears  their  name.  They  are  gone  forever.  The  ox 
and  cow  of  the  farm  are  coming  to  take  their  place. 
Sheep  and  horses  will  soon  fatten  on  the  rich  x>as- 
turage  of  these  hills.  We  of  the  East  would  hardly 
call  them  hills,  much  less  mountains,  the  slopes 
are  so  gentle  and  the  altitudes  so  low.  The  high- 
est grade  of  a  railroad  would  not  exceed  thirty 
feet  to  the  mile  in  crossing  them. 

Here  we  find  granite  and  limestone  bowlders, 
and  in  some  places  beds  of  gravel,  brought,  so 
the  geologists  inform  us,  from  the  far  North  and 
deposited  here  when  the  primeval  ocean  currents 
got  southward  over  this  then  submerged  region. 
They  are  in  the  right  place  for  the  railroad.  The 
stone  will  be  needed  for  abutments  to  bridges, 
and  the  gmvel  will  be  \7anted  for  ballast,  —  pro- 
vided the  road  is  located  in  this  vicinity. 

On  our  second  day's  march  we  come  to  what 
might  with  propriety  be  called  the  park  region  of 
Minnesota.  It  lies  amid  the  high  lands  of  the 
divide.  It  is  more  beautiful  even  than  the  coun- 
try around  White  Bear  Lake  and  in  the  vicinity 


of  Glenwood.  Throughout  the  day  we  behold 
such  rural  scenery  as  can  onlv  be  found  amid  the 
most  lovely  spots  in  Englana. 

Think  of  rounded  hills,  M'ith  green  slopes,  —  of 
parks  and  countless  lakes,  —  skirted  by  forests, 
fringed  with  rushes,  perfumed  by  tiger-lilies  —  the 
waves  ripi^ling  on  gravelled  beaches ;  wild  geese, 
ducks,  loons,  pelicans,  and  innumerable  water-fowl 
building  their  nests  amid  the  reeds  and  rushes, — 
think  of  lawns  blooming  with  flowers,  elk  and  deer 
browsing  in  the  verdant  meadows.  This  is  their 
haunt.  We  see  their  tracks  along  the  sandy  shores, 
but  they  keep  beyond  the  range  of  our  rifles. 

So  wonderfully  has  nature  adorned  this  section, 
that  it  seems  as  if  we  were  riding  through  a  coun- 
try that  has  been  long  under  cultivation,  and  that 
behind  yonder  hillock  we  shall  find  an  old  castle, 
a  mansion,  or,  at  least,  a  farm-house,  as  we  find 
them  in  Great  Britain. 

I  do  not  forget  that  I  am  seeing  IMinnesota  at 
its  best  season,  that  it  is  midsummer,  that  the  win- 
ters are  as  long  as  in  New  England ;  but  I  can  say 
without  reservation,  that  nowhere  in  the  wide  world 
—  not  even  in  old  England,  the  most  finished  of 
all  lands ;  not  in  la  telle  FrancCy  or  sunny  Italy,  or 
ill  the  valley  of  the  Ganges  or  the  Yangtse,  or  on 
the  slopes  of  the  Sierra  Nevadas  —  have  I  beheld 
anything  approacliing  this  in  natural  beauty. 

How  it  would  look  in  winter  I  cannot  say,  but 

114         .  THE   SEAT  OF  EMnUE. 

the  mem'bers  of  our  party  are  unanimous  in  their 
praises  of  tliis  portion  of  Minnesota.  Tlie  nearest 
l)ioneer  is  forty  miles  distant ;  but  hmd  so  in- 
viting will  soon  be  taken  up  by  settlers. 

It  was  a  pleasure,  after  three  days'  travel  over 
the  trackless  wild,  to  come  suddenly  and  unex- 
pectedly upon  a  liay-fiekl.  There  were  the  swaths 
newly  mown.  There  was  no  farm-house  in  sight, 
no  fenced  area  or  upturned  furrow,  but  the  hay- 
makers had  been  there.  We  were  approaching 
civilization  once  more.  Ascending  a  hill,  we  came 
in  sight  of  a  settler,  a  pioneer  who  is  always  on 
the  move ;  who,  when  a  neighbor  comes  within 
six  or  eight  miles  of  him,  abandons  his  home  and 
moves  on  to  some  spot  where  he  can  have  more 
elbow-room,  —  to  a  region  not  so  thickly  peopled. 

He  informed  us  that  we  sliould  find  the  old 
trail  we  were  searching  for  about  a  mile  ahead. 
He  had  long  matted  hair,  beard  hanging  upon  his 
breast,  a  wrinkled  countenance,  wore  a  slouched 
felt  hat,  an  old  checked-cotton  shirt,  and  panta- 
loons so  patched  and  darned,  so  variegated  in  color, 
that  it  w^ould  require  much  study  to  determine 
what  was  original  texture  and  what  patch  and 
darn.  He  came  from  Ohio  in  his  youth,  and  lias 
always  been  a  skirmisher  on  the  advancing  line  of 
civilization,  —  a  few  miles  ahead  of  the  main  body. 
He  was  thinking  now  of  going  into  the  "  bush/'  as 
lie  phrased  it. 


Settlers  further  down  the  trail  inforiuecl  us  tlmt 
lie  was  a  little  tlighty  and  queer;  that  he  could 
not  be  induced  to  stay  long  in  one  place,  hut  was 
always  on  the  move  for  a  more  quiet  nei;^dil)orhood ! 

The  road  that  we  reached  at  this  point  was  for- 
merly traversed  by  the  French  and  Indian  traders 
l)etwcon  Pembina  and  the  Mississippi,  but  has  not 
lieen  used  much  of  late  years.  Striking  that,  we 
should  have  no  difliculty  in  reaching  the  settle- 
ments of  the  Otter-Tail,  forty  miles  south. 

Emigration  travels  fast.  As  fires  blown  by 
winds  sweep  through  the  dried  grass  of  the  prai- 
ries, so  civilization  spreads  along  the  frontier. 

We  reached  the  settlement  on  Saturday  night, 
and  pitched  our  tents  for  the  Sabbath.  It  was  a 
rare  treat  to  these  people  to  come  into  our  camji 
and  hear  a  sermon  from  Eev.  Dr.  Lord.  The  oldest 
member  of  the  colony  is  a  woman,  now  in  her  eigh- 
tieth year,  with  eye  undimmed  and  a  countenance 
remarkably  free  from  the  marks  of  age,  who  walks 
with  a  firm  step  after  fourscore  years  of  labor. 
Sixty  years  ago  she  moved  from  Lebanon,  New 
Hampshire,  a  young  wife,  leaving  the  valley  of  the 
Connecticut  for  a  home  in  the  State  of  New  York, 
then  moving  with  the  great  army  of  emigrants  to 
Ohio,  Illinois,  Missoiiri,  and  Iowa  in  succession, 
and  now  beginning  again  in  Minnesota.  Last  year 
her  hair,  which  had  been  as  white  as  the  purest 
snow,  began  to  take  on  its  original  color,  and  is 

116  THE  SEAT  OF   EMI'lUE. 

now  quite  dark !  There  are  Imt  few  instances  on 
record  of  siicli  a  renewal  of  youth. 

Tlie  l)arty  liave  come  from  central  Iowa  to  make 
this  their  future  home,  preferring  tlie  climate  of 
tliis  region,  wliere  the  clianges  of  temperature  arc 
not  so  sudden  and  varia})le.  The  women  and  chil- 
dren of  the  four  families  lived  here  alone  for  six 
weeks,  while  the  men  were  away  after  their  stock. 
Their  nearest  neiglibors  are  twelve  miles  distant. 
On  the  4th  of  July  all  hands  —  men,  women,  and 
children  —  travellea  forty-five  miles  to  celebrate 
the  day.  •  •  " 

"  We  felt/'  said  one  of  the  women,  "  that  we 
could  n't  get  through  the  year  without  going  some- 
where or  seeing  somebody.  It  is  kinder  lonely  so 
far  away  from  folks,  and  so  we  went  down  country 
to  a  picnic."  • 

Store,  church,  and  school  are  all  forty  miles 
away,  and  till  recently  the  nearest  saw-mill  was 
sixty  miles  distant.  Now  they  can  get  their 
wheat  ground  by  going  forty  miles. 

The  settlement  is  already  blooming  with  half  a 
dozen  children.  Other  emigrants  are  coming,  and 
these  people  are  looi>  .ig  forward  to  next  year 
with  hope  and  confidence,  for  then  they  will  have 
a  school  of  their  own. 

In  our  march  south  from  Detroit  Lake  we  meet 
a  large  number  of  Chippewa  Indians  going  to  the 
Eeservation  recently  assigned  them  by  the  govern- 


mcnt  in  one  of  tlie  fuirest  sections  of  Minnesota. 
Among  tlumi  we  sec  several  woni'  n  with  blue 
eyes  and  light  hair  and  fair  complexions,  who 
liave  French  blood  in  their  veins,  and  possibly 
some  of  them  may  have  had  American  fathers. 
Nearly  all  of  the  Indians  wear  pantaloons  and 
jackets ;  but  here  and  there  we  see  a  brave  who 
is  true  to  his  ancestry,  who  is  proud  of  his  lineage 
and  race,  and  is  in  all  respects  a  savage,  in  mocca- 
sons,  blankeJ;,  skunk-skin  head-dress,  and  painted 
eagle's  feathers. 

They  are  friendly,  inoffensive,  and  indolent,  and 
took  no  part  in  the  late  war.  They  have  been  in 
close  contact  with  the  wdiites  for  a  long  time,  but 
they  do  not  advance  in  civilization.  All  eftbrts 
for  their  elevation  are  like  rain-drops  falling  on  a 
cabbage-leaf,  that  roll  off  and  leave  it  dry.  There 
is  little  absorption  on  the  part  of  the  Indians  ex- 
cept of  wliiskey,  and  in  that  respect  their  powers 
are  great,  —  equal  to  those  of  the  driest  toper  in 
Boston  or  anywhere  else  devoting  all  his  energies 
to  getting  round  the  Prohibitory  Law. 

Our  halting-place  for  Monday  night  is  on  the 
bank  of  the  Otter-Tail,  near  Rush  Lake.  The 
tents  are  pitched,  the  camp-fire  kindled,  supper 
eaten,  anv^  we  are  sitting  before  a  pile  of  blazing 
logs.  The  nv  is  falling,  and  the  fire  is  comfort- 
able and  social.  We  look  into  the  glowing  coals 
and  think  of  old  times,  and  of  friends  far  away. 

118  .  THE   SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 


We  dream  of  home.  Then  tlie  jest  and  the  story 
go  round.  The  song  would  follow  if  we  had  the 
singers.  But  music  is  not  wanting.  We  hear 
martial  strains,  —  of  cornets,  trombones,  ophi- 
cleides,  and  horns,  and  t'le  beating  of  a  drum. 
Torcdies  gleam  upon  the  horizon,  and  by  their 
flickering  light  we  see  a  band  advancing  over  the 
prairie.  It  is  a  march  of  welcome  to  the  Northern 
Pacific  Exploring  Party. 

Not  an  hour  ago  these  musicians  heard  of  our 
arrival,  and  here  they  are,  twelve  of  them,  in  our 
camp,  doing  their  best  to  express  their  joy.  They 
are  Germans,  —  all  young  men.  Three  years  ago 
several  families  came  here  from  Ohio.  They  re- 
ported the  soil  so  fertile,  the  situation  so  attrac- 
tive, the  prospects  so  flattering,  that  others  came ; 
and  now  they  have  a  dozen  families,  and  more  are 
coming  to  this  land  of  promise. 

Take  a  good  long  look  at  these  men  as  they 
stand  before  our  camp-fire,  with  their  bright  new 
instruments  in  their  hands.  They  received  theiii 
only  three  weeks  ago  from  Cincinnati. 

"  We  can't  play  much  yet,"  says  the  leader,  Mr. 
Bertenheimer,  "  but  we  do  the  best  we  can.  We 
have  sent  to  Toledo  for  a  teacher  who  will  spend 
the  winter  with  us.  You  will  pardon  our  poor 
playing,  but  we  felt  so  good  when  we  heard  you 
were  here  looking  out  a  route  for  a  railroad,  that 
we  felt  like  doing  something  to  show  our  good- 


will.  You  see  we  are  just  getting  started,  and 
liave  to  work  hard,  but  w^e  wanted  some  recreation, 
and  we  concluded  to  get  up  a  band.  We  thought 
it  would  be  better  tlian  to  be  hanging  round  a 
grocery.  We  have  n't  any  grocery  yet,  and  if  we 
keep  sober,  and  give  our  attention  to  other  things, 
perhaps  we  sha'  n't  have  one,  —  which,  I  reckon, 
will  be  all  the  better  for  us." 

Plain  and  simple  the  Avords,  but  there  is  more 
in  them  than  in  many  a  windy  speech  made  on 
the  rostrum  or  in  legislative  halls.  Just  getting 
started !  Yet  here  upon  the  frontier  Art  has 
planted  herself.  The  flowers  of  civilization  are 
blooming  on  the  border. 

As  we  listen  to  the  parting  strains,  and  watch 
the  receding  forms,  and  look  into  the  coals  of  our 
camp-fire  after  their  departure,  we  feel  that  there 
must  be  a  bright  future  for  a  commonwealth  that 
can  grow  such  fruit  on  the  borders  of  the  uncul- 
tivated wilderness. 

ISTow  just  ride  out  and  see  what  has  been  done 
by  these  emigrants.  Here  is  a  field  containing 
thirty  acres  of  as  fine  wheat  as  grows  in  Minne- 
sota. It  is  just  taking  on  the  golden  hue,  and  will 
be  ready  for  the  reaper  next  week.  Beside  it  are 
twenty  acres  of  oats,  several  acres  of  corn,  an  acre 
or  two  of  potatoes.  This  is  one  farm  only.  On 
yonder  slope  there  stands  a  two-storied  house,  of 
liewn  logs  and  sliingled  roof.    See  what  adornment 

120        .  THE  .SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 

the  wife  or  daugliter  has  given  to  the  front  yard, 
—  verbenas,  petunias,  and  nasturtiums,  and  round 
the  door  a  living  wreath  of  morning-glories. 
Cows  chew  their  cud  in  the  stable-yard,  while 

*'  Drowsy  tinklings  lull  the  distant  field  " 

where  the  sheep  are  herded. 

We  shall  find  the  scene  repeated  on  the  adjoin- 
ing farm.  Sheltered  beneath  the  grand  old  forest- 
trees  stands  the  little  log  church  with  a  cross  upon 
its  roof,  and  here  we  see  coming  down  the  road 
the  venerable  father  and  teacher  of  the  commu- 
nity, in  long  black  gown  and  broad-brimmed  hat, 
with  a  crucifix  at  his  girdle.  It  is  a  Catholic 
community,  and  they  brought  their  priest  with 

In  the  morning  we  ride  over  smiling  prairies, 
through  groves  of  oak  and  maple,  and  behold  in 
the  distance  a  large  territory  covered  with  the 
lithe  foliage  of  the  tamarack.  Here  and  there  are 
groves  of  pine  rising  like  islands  above  the  wide 
level  of  the  forest. 

At  times  our  horses  walk  on  pebbly  beaches  and  ' 
splash  their  hoofs  in  tlie  limpid  waters  of  the 
lakes.  AVe  pick  up  agates,  carnelians,  and  bits  of 
bright  red  porpliyry,  washed  and  worn  by  the 
waves.  Wild  swans  rear  their  young  in  the  reeds 
and  marshes  bordering  the  streams.  They  grace- 
fully glide  OA^er  the  still  waters.  They  ara  beyond 
the  reach  of  our  rifles,  and  we  would  not  harm 


them  if  we  could.  There  is  a  good  deal  of  the 
savage  left  in  a  man  who,  under  the  plea  of 
sport,  C£.n  wound  or  kill  a  harmless  bird  or  beast 
that  car.not  be  made  to  serve  his  wants.  It  gives 
me  pier  -ure  to  say  that  our  party  are  not  blood- 
thirsty. Ducks,  plover,  snipe,  wild  geese,  and 
sand-hill  cranes  are  served  at  our  table,  but  they 
are  never  shot  in  wanton  spot. 

The  stream  which  we  have  crossed  several  times 
is  the  Otter-Tail  and  flows  southward  into  Otter- 
Tail  La-ke ;  issuing  from  that  it  runs  southwest, 
tlien  west,  then  northward,  taking  the  name  of  the 
Eed  Eiver,  and  pours  its  waters  into  Lake  Winni- 
peg. From  that  great  northern  reservoir  the  wa- 
ters of  this  western  region  of  Minnesota  reach 
Hudson  Bay  through  Nelson  Eiver. 

Looking  eastward  we  see  gleaming  in  the  morn- 
ing sunlight  the  Leaf  Lakes,  the  head-waters  of 
the  Crow- Wing,  one  of  the  largest  western  tribu- 
taries of  the  Upper  Mississippi. 

The  neck  of  land  between  these  lakes  and  the 
Ottej-Tail  is  only  one  mile  wide.  Here,  from  time 
out  of  mind  among  the  Indians,  the  transit  has 
been  made  between  the  waters  flowing  into  the 
Gulf  of  Mexico  and  into  Hudson  Bay.  When 
the  Jesuit  missionaries  came  here,  they  found  it 
the  great  Indian  carrying-place. 

Mackenzie,  Lord  Selkirk,  and  all  the  early  ad- 
venturers, came  by  this  route  on  their  way  to  Brit- 


ish  America.  For  a  long  time  it  has  been  a  trad- 
ing-post. The  French  Jesuit  fathers  were  here  a 
century  ago  and  are  here  to-day,  —  not  spiritual 
fathers  alone,  but  according  to  the  flesh  as  weU ! 
The  settlement  is  composed  wholly  of  French  Ca- 
nadians, their  Indian  wives  and  copper-colored 
children.  There  are  ten  or  a  dozen  houses,  but  they 
are  very  dilapidated.  A  little  old  man  with  twink- 
ling gray  eyes,  wearing  a  battered  white  liat,  comes 
out  to  welcome  us,  while  crowds  of  swarthy  chil- 
dren and  Indian  women  gaze  at  us  from  the  door- 
ways. Another  little  old  man,  in  a  black  gown 
and  broad-brimmed  hat,  with  a  long  chain  and 
crucifix  dangling  from  his  girdle,  salutes  us  with 
true  French  politeness.  He  is  the  priest,  and  is  as 
seedy  as  the  village  itself. 

Around  the  place  are  several  birch-bark  Ind- 
ian huts,  and  a  few  lodges  of  tanned  buffalo-hides. 
Filth,  squalor,  and  degradation  are  the  charac- 
teristics of  the  lodge,  and  the  civilization  of  the 
log-houses  is  but  little  removed  from  that  of  the 

The  French  Canadian  takes  about  as  readily  to 
the  Indian  maiden  as  to  one  of  his  own  race.  He 
is  kinder  than  the  Indian  brave,  and  when  he 
wants  a  wife  he  will  find  the  fairest  of  the  maidens 
ready  to  listen  to  his  words  of  love. 




OUR  halting-place  at  noon  furnishes  a  pleasing 
subject  for  a  comic  artist.  Behold  us  be- 
neath the  shade  of  old  oaks,  our  horses  cropping 
the  rank  grass,  a  fire  kindled  against  the  trunk  of 
a  tree  that  has  braved  the  storms  of  centuries,  each 
toasting  a  slice  of  salt  pork.  .  # 

Governor,  members  of  Congress,  minister,  judge, 
doctor,  teamster,  correspondent,  —  all  hands  are  at 
it.  Salt  pork !  Does  any  one  turn  up  his  nose  at 
it  ?  Do  you  think  it  hard  fare  ?  Just  come  out 
here  and  try  it,  after  a  twenty-five-mile  gallop  on 
horseback,  in  this  clear,  bracing  atmosphere,  with 
twenty  more  miles  to  make  before  getting  into 
camp.  We  slept  in  a  tent  last  night ;  had  break- 
fast at  5  A.  M. ;  are  camping  by  night  and  tramp- 
ing by  day ;  are  bronzed  by  the  sun ;  and  are 
roughing  it !  The  exercise  of  the  day  gives  sweet 
sleep  at  night.  We  had  a  good  appetite  at  break- 
fast, and  now,  at  noon,  are  as  hungry  as  bears. 
Salt  pork  is  not  of  much  account  in  a  down-town 
eating-house,  but  out  here  it  is  epicurean  fare. 

Just  see  the  Ex-Governor  of  the  Green  Mountain 
State  standing  before  the  fire  with  a  long  stick  in 

124  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

Ills  hand,  having  three  prongs  like  Neptune's  trident. 
He  is  doing  his  pork  to  a  beautiful  brown.  Now 
he  lays  it  between  two  slices  of  bread,  and  eats  it 
as  if  it  were  a  most  delicious  morsel,  —  as  it  is. 

A  dozen  toasting-forks  are  held  up  to  the  glow- 
ing coals.  A  dozen  slices  of  pork  are  sizzling. 
We  are  not  all  of  us  quite  so  scientific  in  our  toast- 
ing as  the  Ex-Governor  in  his.  ■ 

Although  I  have  had  camp-life  before,  and  have 
fried  flapjacks  on  an  old  iron  shovel,  I  am  subject 
to  mishaps.  There  goes  my  pork  into  the  ashes ; 
nev^  mind !  I  shall  need  less  pepper.  I  job  my 
trident  into  tlie  slice,  —  flaming  now,  and  turning  to 
crisp,  —  hold  it  a  moment  before  the  coals,  and  slap 
it  on  my  bread  in  season  to  save  a  little  of  the 
drip.  .  <•  • 

Do  I  hear  some  one  exclaim,  How  can  he  eat  it  ? 
Ah !  you  who  never  have  had  experience  on  the 
prairies  don't  know  the  pleasures  of  such  a  lunch. 

Now,  because  we  are  all  as  jolly  as  we  can  be, 
because  I  have  praised  salt  pork,  I  would  n't  have 
everybody  rushing  out  here  to  try  it,  as  they  have 
rushed  to  the  Adirondacks,  fired  to  a  high  pitch  of 
enthusiasm  by  the  spirited  descriptions  of  the 
pleasures  of  the  wilderness  by  the  pastor  of  the 
Boston  Park  Street  Church.  What  is  sweet  to  me 
may  be  sour  to  somebody  else.  I  should  not  like 
this  manner  of  life  all  the  time,  nor  salt  pork  for 
a  steady  diet. 


Wooded  prairies,  oak  openings,  hills  and  vales, 
watered  by  lakes  and  ponds,  —  such  is  the  character 
of  the  region  lying  south  of  Otter-Tail.  Over  all 
this  section  the  water  is  as  pure  as  that  gurgling 
from  the  hillsides  of  New  Hampshire. 

Minnesota  is  one  of  the  best-watered  States  of 
the  Union.  The  thousands  of  lakes  and  ponds 
dotting  its  surface  are  fed  by  never-failing  springs. 
This  one  feature  adds  immeasurably  to  its  value 
as  an  agricultural  State.  In  Illinois,  Iowa,  and 
Nebraska  the  farmer  is  compelled  to  pump  water 
for  his  stock,  and  in  those  States  we  see  windmills 
erected  for  that  purpose ;  but  here  the  ponds  are 
so  numerous  and  the  springs  so  abundant  that  far 
less  pumping  will  be  required  than  in  the  other 
prairie  States  of  the  Union. 

We  fall  in  with  a  Dutchman,  where  we  camp  for 
the  night,  who  has  taken  up  a  hundred  and  sixty 
acres  under  the  Pre-emption  Act.  He  has  put  up 
a  log-hut,  turned  a  few  acres  of  the  sod,  and  is 
getting  ready  to  live.  His  thrifty  wife  has  a  flock 
of  hens,  which  supply  us  with  fresh  eggs.  This 
pioneer  has  recently  come  from  Montana.  He  had 
a  beautiful  farm  in  the  Deer  Lodge  Pass  of  the 
Piocky  Mountains,  witliin  seven  miles  of  the  sum- 

"  I  raised  as  good  wheat  there  as  I  can  here," 
he  says,  —  "  thirty  bushels  to  the  acre." 

"  Why  did  you  leave  it  ? " 

126  .  THE  SEAT   OF  EMPIliE. 

"  I  could  n't  sell  anything.  There  is  no  market 
there.  The  farmers  raise  so  much  that  they  can 
hardly  give  their  grain  away." 

"  Did  you  sell  your  farm  ?  " 

"  No,  I  left  it.    It  is  there  for  anybody  to  take." 

"  Is  it  cold  there  ? " 

"  No  colder  than  it  is  here.  We  have  a  few  cold 
days  in  winter,  but  not  much  snow.  Cattle  live 
in  the  fields  through  the  winter,  feeding  on  bunch- 
grass,  which  grows  tall  and  is  very  sweet." 

Here  was  information  worth  having,  —  the  ex- 
perience of  a  farmer.  The  Deer  Lodge  Pass  is  at 
the  head-waters  of  the  Missouri,  in  the  main  di- 
vide of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  and  one  of  the  sur- 
veyed lines  of  the  Northern  Pacific  Eailroad  passes 
through  it.  We  have  thought  of  it  as  a  place 
where  a  tailroad  train  would  be  frozen  up  and 
buried  beneath  descending  avalanches ;  but  here  is 
a  man  who  has  lived  within  seven  miles  of  the  top 
of  the  mountains,  who  raised  the  best  of  wheat, 
the  meahest  of  potatoes,  whose  cattle  lived  in  the 
pastures  through  the  winter,  but  who  left  his  farm 
for  the  sole  reason  that  he  could  not  sell  any- 
thing. Montara  has  no  market  except  among  the 
mining  population,  and  the  miners  are  scattered 
over  a  vast  region.  A  few  farmers  in  the  vicinity 
of  a  mining-camp  supply  the  wants  of  the  place. 
Farming  will  not  be  remunerative  till  a  railroad  is 
completed  up  the  vaUey  of  the  Yellowstone  or 






Missouri.  Wliat  stronger  arfjument  can  there  be, 
what  demonstration  more  forci])le,  for  the  imme- 
diate construction  of  the  Northern  Pacific  Ifail- 
road  ?  It  will  pass  through  the  heart  of  the  Ter- 
ritory which  is  yielding  more  gold  and  silver  than 
any  other  Territory  or  State. 

This  farmer  says  that  Montana  is  destined  to  be 
a  great  stock-growing  State.  Cattle  thrive  on  the 
hunch-gTass.  The  hills  are  covered  with  it,  and 
millions  of  acres  that  cannot  be  readily  cultivated 
will  furnish  pasturage  for  flocks  and  herds.  This 
testimony  accords  with  statements  made  by  those 
who  have  visited  the  Territory,  as  well  as  by  others 
who  have  resided  there. 

We  have  met  to-day  a  long  train  of  wagons 
filled  with  emigrants,  who  have  come  from  Wis- 
consin, Illinois,  Indiana,  and  some  from  Ohio. 

Look  at  the  wagons,  each  drawn  by  four  oxen, — 
driven  either  by  the  owner  or  one  of  his  barefoot 
boys.  Boxes,  barrels,  chairs,  tables,  pots,  and  pans 
constitute  the  furniture.  The  grandmother,  white- 
1^ aired,  old,  and  wrinkled,  and  the  wife  with  an 
infant  in  her  arms,  with  three  or  four  romping 
children  around  her,  all  sitting  on  a  feather-bed 
beneath  the  white  canvas  covering.  A  tin  kettle 
is  suspended  beneath  the  axle,  in  which  a  tow- 
headed  urchin,  covered  with  dust,  is  swinging, 
clapping  his  hands,  and  playing  with  a  yeUow 
dog  trotting  behind  the  team.     A  hoop-skirt,  a 

128  .  THK   SEAT   OF   KMPIRE. 

chicken-coop,  a  pig  in  a  hox,  are  tlic  most  conspic- 
uous ol)ject3  that  meet  tlie  eye  as  we  look  at 
the  hinder  part  of  the  wagon.  A  barefooted  boy, 
as  bright-eyed  as  Wliittier's  ideal,  —  now  clone  in 
chromo-lithograph,  and  adorning  many  a  home,  — 
marches  behind,  with  his  rosy-cheeked  sister,  driv- 
ing a  cow  and  a  calf. 

To-night  they  will  be  fifteen  miles  nearer  their 
destination  than  they  were  in  the  morning.  Some 
of  the  teams  have  been  two  months  on  the  road, 
and  a  few  more  days  will  bring  them  to  the  spot 
which  the  emigrant  has  already  selected  for  his 
future  home.  Tliey  halt  by  the  roadside  at  night. 
The  oxen  crop  the  rich  grasses ;  tlie  cow  supplies  the 
little  ones  with  milk ;  the  children  gather  an  arm- 
ful of  sticks,  the  mother  makes  a  cake,  and  bakes 
it  before  the  camp-fire  in  a  tin  baker  such  as  was 
found  in  every  New  England  home  forty  years  ago ; 
the  emigrant  smokes  his  pipe,  rolls  himself  in  a 
blanket,  and  snores  upon  the  ground  beneath  the 
wagon,  while  his  family  sleep  equally  well  beneath 
the  canvas  roof  above  him.  Another  cake  in  the 
morning,  w4th  a  slice  of  fried  pork,  a  drink  of 
coffee,  and  they  are  ready  for  the  new  day. 

Not  only  along  this  road,  but  every\vliere,  we 
may  behold  just  such  scenes.  A  gre'^.t  army  of 
occupation  is  moving  into  the  State.  The  advance 
is  all  along  the  line.  Towns  and  villages  are 
springing  up  as  if  by  magic   in  every  county. 


Every  day  adds  thousands  of  acres  to  those  al- 
ready under  cultivation.  The  fields  of  this  year  are 
wider  than  they  were  a  year  ago,  and  twelve  months 
hence  will  be  much  larger  than  they  are  to-day. 

In  all  new  countries,  no  matter  how  fertile  they 
may  be,  breadstuffs  must  be  imported  at  the  out- 
set. It  was  so  when  California  was  first  settled  ; 
but  to-day  California  is  sending  her  wheat  all  over 
the  world.  The  first  settlers  of  ]\Iinnesota  were 
lumbermen,  and  up  to  1857  there  was  not  wheat 
enough  produced  in  the  State  to  supply  their 
wants.  The  steamers  ascending  the  Mississippi 
to  St.  Paul  were  loaded  with  flour,  and  tlie  world 
at  large  somehow  came  to  think  of  Minnesota  as 
being  so  cold  that  wheat  enough  to  supply  the  few 
lumbermen  employed  in  the  forests  and  on  the 
rivers  could  never  be  raised  there. 

See  how  this  region,  which  we  all  thought  of  as 
lying  too  near  the  north  pole  to  be  worth  any- 
thing, has  developed  its  resources  !  In  1854  the 
number  of  acres  under  cultivation  in  the  State 
was  only  fifteen  thousand,  or  about  two  thirds  of 
a  single  township. 

Fifteen  years  have  passed  by,  and  the  tilled  area 
is  estimated  at  about  two  million  acres  !  In  1857 
she  imported  grain ;  but  her  yield  of  wheat  the 
present  year  is  estimated  at  more  than  twenty  mil- 
lion bushels  ! 

I  would  not  make  the  farmers  of  New  England 

6*  I 

130         .  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

discontented.  I  would  not  advise  all  to  put  up 
their  farms  at  auction,  or  any  well-to-do  farmer 
of  Massachusetts  or  Vermont  to  leave  his  old 
home  and  rush  out  here  without  first  coming  to 
survey  the  country;  but  if  I  were  a  young  man 
selling  corsets  and  hoop-skirts  to  simpering  young 
ladies  in  a  city  store,  I  would  give  such  a  jump 
over  the  counter  that  my  feet  would  touch  ground 
in  the  centre  of  a  great  prairie ! 

I  would  have  a  homestead  out  here.  True,  there 
would  be  hard  fare  at  first.  The  cabin -would  be 
of  logs.  There  would  be  short  commons  for  a  year 
or  two.  But  with  my  salt  pork  I  would  have 
pickerel,  prairie  chickens,  moose,  and  deer.  I 
should  have  calloused  hands  and  the  back-ache  at 
times;  but  my  sleep  would  be  swe^^t.  I  should 
have  no  theatre  to  visit  nightly,  no  star  actors  to 
see,  and  should  miss  the  tramp  of  the  great  multi- 
tude of  tlie  city,  —  tlie  ever-hurrying  throng.  The 
first  year  might  be  lonely ;  possibly,  I  should  have 
the  blues  now  and  then ;  but,  possessing  my  soul 
with  patience  a  twelvemonth,  I  should  have  neigh- 
bors. The  railroad  would  come.  The  little  log- 
hut  would  give  place  to  a  mansion.  Eoses  would 
bloom  in  the  garden,  and  morning-glories  open 
their  blue  bells  by  the  doorway.  The  vast  ex- 
panse would  wave  with  golden  grain.  Thrift  and 
plenty,  and  civilization  with  all  its  comforts  and 
luxuries,  would  be  mine. 


Are  the  colors  of  the  picture  too  bright  ?  Ee- 
niember  that  in  1849  Minnesota  had  less  than  five 
thousand  inhabitants,  and  that  to-day  she  has  near- 
ly five  hundred  thousand. 

I  am  writing  to  young  men  who  have  the  whole 
scope  of  life  before  tliem.  You  are  a  clerk  in  a 
store,  with  a  salary  of  five  hundred  dollars,  perhaps 
seven  hundred.  By  stinting  here  and  there  you 
can  just  bring  the  year  round.  It  is  a  long,  long 
look  ahead,  and  your  brightest  day-dream  of  the 
future  is  not  very  bright. 

Now  take  a  look  in  this  direction.  You  can  get 
a  hundred  and  sixty  acres  of  land  for  two  hun- 
dred dollars.  If  you  obtain  it  near  a  railroad,  it 
will  cost  three  hundred  and  twenty  dollars.  It 
will  cost  three  dollars  an  acre  to  plough  the  ground 
and  prepare  it  for  the  first  crop,  besides  the  fen- 
cing. But  the  first  crop,  ordinarily,  will  more  than 
pay  the  entire  outlay  for  ground,  fencing,  and 
ploughing,  rive  years  hence  the  land  will  be 
worth  fifteen  or  twenty-five  dollars  per  acre.  This 
is  no  fancy  sketch.  It  is  simply  a  statement  as 
to  what  has  been  the  experience  of  thousands  of 
people  in  Minnesota. 

Think  of  it,  young  men,  you  who  are  rubbing 
along  from  year  to  year  with  no  great  hopes  for 
the  future.  Can  you  hold  a  plough  ?  Can  you  drive 
a  span  of  horses  ?  Can  you  accept  for  a  while 
the  solitude  of  nature,  and  have  a  few  hard  knocks 

132         ■  THE   SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 

for  a  year  or  two  ?  Can  you  lay  aside  paper  col- 
lars and  kid  gloves,  and  wear  a  blue  blouse  and 
blister  your  bands  witb  work  ?  Can  you  possess 
your  soul  in  patience,  and  hold  on  your  way  with 
a  firm  purpose  ?  If  you  can,  there  is  a  beautiful 
home  for  you  out  here.  Prosperity,  freedom,  inde- 
pendence, manhood  in  its  highest  sense,  peace  of 
mind,  and  all  the  comforts  and  luxuries  of  life, 
are  awaiting  you. 

There  is  no  medicine  for  a  wearied  mind  or 
jaded  body  equal  to  life  on  the  prairies.  When 
our  party  left  the  East,  every  member  of  it  was 
worn  down  by  hard  work.  Some  of  us  were  dys- 
peptic, some  nervous,  while  others  had  tired  brains. 
It  is  the  misfortune  of  Americans  to  be  ever  work- 
ing* as  if  they  were  in  the  iron-mills,  or  as  if  the 
Philistines  had  them  in  the  prison-house  ! 

We  have  been  a  few  weeks  upon  the  frontier, 
—  been  beyond  the  reach  of  the  daily  newspaper, 
beyond  care  and  trouble.  The  world  has  got  on 
without  us,  and  now  we  are  on  our  w^ay  back, 
changed  beings.  We  are  as  good  as  new,  —  tough, 
rugged,  hale,  hearty,  and  ready  for  a  frolic  here, 
or  another  battle  with  life  when  we  reach  home. 

Behold  us  at  our  halting-place  for  tlie  night ;  a 
clear  stream  near  by  winding  through  pleasant 
meadows,  bordered  by  oaks  and  maples.  The 
horses  are  unharnessed,  and  are  rolling  in  the  tall 
grass  after  their  long  day's  work.     The  teamsters 


are  pitching  the  tents,  the  cook  is  busy  with  his 
pots  and  kettles.  Ah-eady  we  inhale  the  aroma 
steaming  from  the  nose  of  the  coffee-pot.  The 
pork  and  fish  and  plover  over  the  fire,  like  a  mis- 
sionary or  colporteur  or  Sunday-school  teacher, 
are  doing  good  !  AVhat  odor  more  refreshing  than 
that  exhaled  from  a  coffee-pot  steaming  over  a 
camp-fire,  after  twelve  hours  in  the  saddle,  —  the 
fresh  breeze  fanning  your  cheeks,  and  every  sense 
intensified  by  beholding  ther  far-reaching  fields 
blooming  with  flowers  or  waving  with  ripening 


The  shadows  of  night  are  falling,  and  though  the 
sun  has  shone  through  a  cloudless  sky  the  evening 
air  is  chilly.  We  will  warm  it  by  kindling  a 
grand  bivouac-fire,  where,  after  supper,  we  will  sit 
in  solemn  council,  or  crack  jokes,  or  tell  stories,  as 
the  whim  of-  the  hour  shall  lead  us. 

There  was  a  time  when  the  gray-beards  of  our 
party  were  youngsters  and  played  "  horse  "  with  a 
wooden  bit  between  the  teeth,  the  reins  handled 
by  a  white-haired  schoolmate.  How  we  trot- 
ted, cantered,  reared,  pranced,  backed,  and  then 
rushed  furiously  on,  making  the  little  old  hand- 
cart rattle  over  the  stones  !  It  was  long  ago,  but 
we  have  not  forgotten  it,  and  to-nigjit  we  will  be 
boys  once  more.  '  ^  .    . - 

Yonder  by  the  roadside  lies  a  fallen  oak,  a  mon- 
arch of  the  forest,  broken  down  by  the  wind,  — 


by  the  same  tempest  that  levelled  our  tents.  It 
shall  blaze  to-night.  We  will  sit  in  its  cheerful 
liglit.  It  would  be  ignoble  to  hack  it  to  pieces  and 
bring  it  into  camp  an  armful  at  a  time ;  we  will 
drag  it  bodily,  lop  off  the  limbs  and  pile  them 
high  upon  the  trunk,  touch  a  match  to  the  with- 
ered leaves,  and  warm  the  chilly  air. 

"  All  hands  to  the  harness  ! "  It  is  a  royal  team. 
How  could  it  be  otherwise  with  the  Ex-Governor 
of  the  Green  Mountain  State  for  leader,  matched 
with  our  Judge,  who,  for  sixteen  years,  honored 
the  judiciary  of  Maine,  with  three  members  of 
Congress  past  and  present,  a  doctor  of  divinity 
and  another  of  medicine,  —  all  in  harness  ?  We 
have  a  strong  cart-rope  of  the  best  Manilla  hemp, 
which  has  served  us  many  a  turn  in  pulling  our 
wagons  through  the  sloughs,  and  which  is  brought 
once  more  into  service.  A  few  strokes  of  the  axe 
provide  us  with  levers  which  serve  for  yokes.  We 
pair  off,  two  and  two,  and  take  our  places  in  the 

"  Are  you  all  ready  ?  Now  for  it ! "  It  is  the 
voice  of  our  leader. 

"  Gee  up  1  Whoa  !  Whoa  !  Hip  !  Hurrah  !  Now 
she  goes !"  ■  '  '         ^    -     - '        ' 

We  shout  and  sing,  and  feel  an  ecstatic  thrill 
running  all  over  us,  from  the  tips  of  our  fingers 
down  into  our  boots  ! 

What  a  deal  of  power  there  is  in  a  yeU !    The 


teamster  screams  to  his  liorses ;  tlie  plough-boy 
makes  himself  hoarse  hy  shouting  to  his  oxen ;  the 
fireman  feels  that  he  is  doing  good  service  when 
lie  goes  tearing  down  the  street  yelling  with  all 
liis  might.  He  never  would  put  out  the  fire  if 
lie  could  n't  yell.  A  hurrah  elected  General  Har- 
rison President  of  the  United  States,  and  it  has 
won  many  a  political  battle-field.  A  hurrah  starts 
the  old  oak  from  its  bed.  See  the  Executive  as 
he  sets  his  compact  shoulders  to  the  work,  mak- 
ing the  lever  bend  before  him.  Notice  the  tall 
form  of  the  Judge  bowing  in  the  traces !  If  the 
rope  does  not  break,  the  log  is  bound  to  come. 

The  two  are  good  at  pulling.  They  have  shown 
their  power  by  dragging  one  of  the  greatest  enter- 
prises of  modern  times  over  obstacles  that  would 
have  discouraged  men  of  weaker  nerve.  The  pub- 
lic never  will  know  of  the  hard  work  performed 
by  them  in  starting  the  Northern  Pacific  Piailroad, 
—  how  they  have  raised  it  from  obscurity,  from 
obloquy,  notwithstanding  opposition  and  prejudice. 
The  time  will  come  when  the  public  will  look 
upon  the  enterprise  in  its  true  light.  When  the 
road  is  opened  from  Lake  Superior  westward,  when 
the  traveller  finds  on  eveiy  hand  a  country  of 
surpassing  richness,  a  climate  in  the  Northwest  as 
mild  as  that  of  Pennsylvania,  when  he  sees  the 
numberless  attractions  and  exhaustless  resources 
of  the  land,  then,  and  not  till  then,  will  the  labors 

136        ■  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

of  Governor  Smith  and  his  associates  in  carrying 
on  this  work  be  appreciated. 

To-night  they  enter  with  all  the  zest  of  youth 
into  the  project  of  building  a  camp-fire,  and  tug  at 
the  rope  with  the  enthusiasm  of  boyhood. 

It  is  a  strong  team.  Our  doctor  of  divinity, 
whetlier  in  the  pulpit  or  on  the  prairie,  pulls  with 
"  a  forty  parson  power,"  to  use  Byron's  simile. 
And  our  M.  D.,  whether  he  has  hold  of  a  gnarled 
oak  or  the  stump  of  a  molar  in  the  mouth  of  a 
pretty  young  lady,  is  certain  to  mast'T  it. 

A  member  of  Congress  "  made  believe  pull,"  as 
we  used  to  say  in  our  boyhood,  but  complacently 
smoked  his  pipe  the  while ;  the  correspondent 
tipped  a  wink  at  the  smoker,  seized  hold  of  a 
lever,  shouted  and  yelled  as  if  laying  out  all  his 
strength,  and  pulled  —  about  two  pounds  !  But 
we  dragged  it  in  amid  the  hurrahs  of  the  team- 
sters, wiped  the  sweat  from  our  brows,  and  then 
through  the  evening  sat  round  the  blazing  log,  and 
made  the  air  ring  with  our  merry  laughter.  So 
we  rubbed  out  the  growing  ^vrinkles,  smoothed  the 
lines  of  care,  and  turned  back  the  shadow  creeping 
up  the  dial. 







IN  THE  FOREST.  137 



IN"  preceding  chaj^ters  the  characteristics  of  the 
country  west  of  the  Mississippi  have  been 
set  forth ;  but  many  a  man  seeking  a  new  home 
would  be  lonely  upon  the  prairies.  The  lumber- 
man of  Maine,  who  was  born  in  tlie  forest,  who 
in  childhood  listened  to  the  sweet  but  mournful 
music  of  the  ever-sighing  pines,  would  be  home- 
sick away  from  the  grand  old  woods.  The  trees 
are  his  friends.  The  open  country  would  be  a  soli- 
tude, but  in  the  depths  of  the  forest  he  would  ever 
find  congenial  company.  There  the  oaks,  tlie  elms, 
and  maples  reach  out  their  arms  lovingly  above 
him,  sheltering  him  alike  from  winter's  blasts  and 
summer's  heats.  Even  though  he  may  have  no 
poetry  in  his  soul,  the  woods  will  have  a  charm  for 
him,  for  there  he  finds  a  harvest  already  grown 
and  waiting  to  be  gathered,  as  truly  as  if  it  were  so 
many  acres  of  ripened  wheat. 

It  is  not  difficult  to  pick  out  the  "  Down-Easters  " 
in  Minnesota.  "When  I  hear  a  man  talk  about 
"  stumpage  "  and  "  thousands  of  feet,"  I  know  that 
he  is  from  the  Moosehead  region,  oi*  has  been  in 
a  lumber  camp  on  the  Chesuncook.     He  has  eaten 

138  THE  SEAT  OF  FMrillE. 

pork  and  beans,  and  slept  on  hemlock  boughs  on 
the  banks  of  the  Madawaska.  When  he  cocks  his 
head  on  one  side  and  squints  up  a  pine-tree,  I 
know  tliat  he  has  Blodget's  Table  in  his  brain,  and 
can  tell  the  exact  amount  of  clear  and  merchant- 
able lumber  wliicli  the  tree  will  yield.  His  para- 
dise is  in  the  forest,  and  there  alone. 

The  region  east  of  the  Mississippi  and  around 
its  head-waters  is  the  Eden  of  lumbermen. 

The  traveller  who  starts  from  St.  Paul  and  trav- 
els westward  will  find  a  prairie  country ;  but  if  he 
travels  eastward,  or  toward  the  northeast,  he  will 
find  himself  in  the  woods,  where  tall  pines  and 
spruces  and  oaks  and  maples  rear  their  gigantic 
trunks.  It  is  not  all  forest,  for  here  and  there  we 
see  "  openings  "  where  the  sunlight  falls  on  pleas- 
ant meadows ;  but  speaking  in  general  terms,  the 
entire  country  east  of  the  Mississippi,  in  Minne- 
sota and  northern  Wisconsin,  and  in  that  portion 
of  Michigan  lying  between  Lake  Superior  and 
Lake  Michigan,  is  the  place  for  the  lumberman. 

The  soil  is  sandy,  and  the  geologist  will  see 
satisfactory  traces  of  the  drift  period,  when  a 
great  flood  of  waters  set  southward,  bringing  gran- 
ite bowlders,  pebbles,  and  stones  from  the  country 
lying  between  Hudson  Bay  and  Lake  Superior. 

The  forest  growth  affects  the  climate.  There  is 
more  snow  and  rain  east  of  the  Mississippi  than 
west  of  it.     The  temperature  in  winter  on  Lake 

IN  THE  FOREST.  139 

Superior  is  milder  than  at  St.  Paul,  but  there  is 
more  moisture  in  the  air.  The  climate  at  Dulutli 
or  Superior  City  during  the  winter  does  not  vary 
much  from  that  of  Chicago.  Notwithstanding  the 
difference  of  latitude,  the  isothermal  line  of  mean 
temperature  for  the  year  runs  from  the  lower  end 
of  Lake  Michigan  to  tlie  western  end  of  Lake 
Superior.  Probably "  more  snow  falls  in  Minne- 
sota than  around  Chicago,  for  in  all  forest  re- 
gions in  northern  latitudes  tliere  is  usually  a 
heavier  rain  and  snow  fall  than  in  open  coun- 
tries. The  time  will  probably  come  when  the 
rain-fall  of  eastern  Minnesota  and  northern  Mich- 
igan will  be  less  than  it  is  now.  "VVhcn  the  lum- 
bermen have  swept  away  the  forests,  the  sun  will 
dry  up  the  moisture,  there  will  be  less  rain  east 
of  the  Mississippi,  wliile  the  probabilities  are 
that  it  will  be  increased  westward  over  all  the 
prairie  region.  Orchards,  groves,  corn  -  fields, 
wheat-fields,  clover-lands,  —  all  will  appear  with 
the  advance  of  civilization.  They  will  receive 
more  moisture  from  the  surrounding  air  than  the 
prairie  grasses  do  at  the  present  time.  Every- 
body knows  that  the  hand  of  man  is  powerful 
enough  to  change  climate,  —  to  increase  the  rain- 
fall here,  to  diminish  it  there ;  to  lower  the  tem- 
perature, or  to  raise  it. 

^  The  Ohio  Eiver  is  dwindling  in  size  because  the 
forests  of  Ohio  rnd  Pennsylvania  are  disappearing. 

140       •  TIIK   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

Palestine,  Syria,  and  Greece,  altliough  they  have 
supported  dense  populations,  are  barren  to-day  be- 
cause the  trees  have  been  cut  down.  If  this 
were  an  essay  on  the  power  of  man  over  nature, 
instead  of  the  AVTiting  out  of  a  few  notes  on  the 
Northwest,  I  might  go  on  and  give  abundant  data; 
but  I  allude  to  it  incidentally  in  connection  with 
the  climate,  which  fifty  years  hence  will  not  in  all 
probability  be  tlie  same  that  it  is  to-day. 

Having  in  preceding  pages  taken  a  survey  of  the 
magnificent  farming  region  beyond  the  Mississippi, 
it  remains  for  us  to  take  a  look  at  the  country 
between  the  Mississippi  and  Lake  Superior. 

Leaving  our  camp  equipage  and  the  horses  that 
had  borne  us  over  tlie  prairies,  bidding  good  by  to 
our  many  friends  in  Minneapolis  and  St.  Paul,  we 
started  from  the  last-named  city  for  a  trip  of  a 
hundred  and  fifty  miles  through  the  w^oocls.  The 
first  fifty  miles  was  accomplished  by  rail,  through 
a  country  partially  settled.  Upon  the  train  were 
several  ladies  and  gentlemen  on  their  w^ay  to 
"Wlnte  Bear  Lake,  not  the  White  Bear  of  the 
West,  but  a  lovely  sheet  of  w^ater  ten  miles  north 
of  St.  Paul.  It  is  but  a  few  years  since  Wabashaw 
and  his  dusky  ancestors  trolled  their  lines  by  day 
and  speared  pickerel  and  pike  by  torchlight  at 
night  upon  its  placid  bosom,  but  now  it  is  the 
favorite  resort  of  picnic-parties  from  St.  Paul.  Here 
and  there  along  the  shores  are  low  giuss-grown 

IN  THE  FORK.ST.  141 

monnments,  raised  by  the  Chippewas  when  they 
^vel•c  a  powerful  nation  anionj^  the  Eed  Mtn.    • 

'*  But  now  tho  wlient  is  green  and  high 
On  clods  that  hid  the  warrior's  breast. 
And  scattered  iii  the  furrows  lie 
The  weapons  of  his  rest." 

The  lake  is  six  miles  long  and  dotted  with  isl- 
ands. It  was  a  general  gathering-place  of  tlic 
Indians,  as  it  is  now  of  the  people  of  the  sur- 
rounding country.  Its  curving  shores  and  pehhly 
Ijoaches,  bordered  by  a  magnificent  forest,  present 
a  charming  and  peaceful  picture. 

We  are  accompanied  on  our  trip  by  the  Pres- 
ident of  the  Lake  Superior  and  Mississippi  liail- 
road,  and  other  gentlemen  connected  with  the 
railroads  of  the  Northwest.  At  Wyoming  we 
leave  our  friends,  bid  good  by  to  the  locomotive, 
and  say  how  do  you  do  to  a  bright  new  mud- 
wagon  !  It  is  set  on  thorough  -  braces,  with  a 
canvas  top.  There  are  seats  for  nine  inside  and 
one  with  the  driver  outside.  Carj^et-bags  and 
valises  are  stowed  under  the  seats.  AVe  have  no 
extra  luggage,  but  are  in  light  staging  order. 

We  are  bound  for  Superior  and  Duluth. 

"  You  will  have  a  sweet  time  getting  there,"  is 
the  remark  of  a  mud-bespattered  man  sitting  on 
a  pile  of  lumber  by  the  roadside.  He  has  just 
come  through  on  foot  with  o  dozen  men,  who 
have  thrown   down   the   shovel   to   take  up  the 

142      ■  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIKE. 

sickle,  or  rather  to  follow  the  reaper  during  hai^ 

What  he  means  by  our  having  a  sweet  time  we 
do  not  quite  comprehend. 

"  You  will  find  the  road  baddish  in  spots/'  says 

A  German,  with  bushy  beard  and  uncombed 
hair,  barefooted,  and  carrying  his  boots  in  his 
hands,  exclaims,  "  It  ish  von  tam  tirty  travel  all 
the  time  ! " 

We  understand  him.  With  a  crack  of  the  whip 
we  roll  away,  our  horses  on  the  trot,  passing 
cleared  fields,  where  cattle  are  up  to  their  knees 
in  clover,  past  wheat-fields  ready  for  the  reaper, 
reaching  at  noon  our  halting-place  for  dinner. 

Wlienever  you  find  a  farm-house  anywhere  out 
West  where  there  are  delicious  apple-pies,  or  any- 
thing especially  nice  in  the  pastrj^  line,  on  the 
table,  you  may  be  pretty  sure  that  the  hostess 
came  from  Maine ;  at  least,  such  has  been  my  expe- 
rience. I  remember  calling  at  a  house  in  central 
Missouri  during  the  war,  and,  instead  of  having  the 
standard  dish  of  the  Southwest  "hog  and  hom- 
iny," obtaining  a  luxurious  dinner,  finishing  off 
with  apple-pie,  the  pastry  moulded  by  fair  hands 
that  were  trained  to  housework  on  the  banks  of 
the  Penobscot.  Last  year  I  found  a  lady  from 
Maine  among  the  Sierra  Nevadas ;  I  was  confi- 
dent that  she  was  from  the  Pine-Tree  State   the 

IN  THE  FOREST.  143 

moment  I  saw  her  pies  ;  for  somehow  the  daugh- 
ters of  Down  East  have  the  knack  of  making 
pastry  that  would  dehght  an  epicure.  And  now 
ill  Minnesota  we  sit  down  to  a  substantial  dinner 
topped  off,  rounded,  and  made  complete  by  a 
piece  of  Maine  ap2~»le-pie. 

The  daughters  of  New  Hampshire  and  of  Ver- 
mont may  possibly  make  just  as  good  cooks,  but 
it  has  so  happened  that  we  have  fallen  in  with 
housewives  from  Maine  when  our  appetite  was 
sharpened  for  something  good. 
.  Our  dinner  is  at  tiie  house  of  a  farmer  who 
came  to  Minnesota  from  the  Kennebec.  He  knew 
how  to  swing  an  axe,  and  the  oaks  and  maples 
liave  fallen  before  his  sturdy  strokes ;  the  plough 
and  harrow  and  stump-puller  have  been  at  work, 
and  now  we  look  out  upon  wheat-fields  and  acres 
of  waving  corn,  inhale  the  fragrance  of  white 
clover,  and  hear  the  humming  of  the  bees.  We 
see  at  a  glance  the  capabilities  of  the  forest  region 
of  Minnesota.  We  understand  it  just  as  well  as 
if  we  were  to  read  all  the  works  extant  on  soil, 
climatology,  natural  productions,  etc.  Here,  as 
well  as  westward  of  the  Mississippi,  wheat,  corn, 
potatoes,  clover,  and  timothy  can  be  successfully 
and  profitably  cultivated. 

"  I  raised  thirty-five  bushels  of  wheat  to  the  acre 
last  year,  and  I  guess  I  shall  have  that  this  year," 
said  the  owner  of  the  farm. 

144       ■  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

Tliis  well-to-do  farmer  and  his  wife  came  here 
witliont  capital,  or  ratlier  witli  capital  arms  and 
strong  hearts,  to  rear  a  home,  and  here  it  is :  a 
neat  farm-house  of  two  stories ;  a  carpet  on  the 
floor,  a  sofa,  a  rocking-chair,  pictures  on  the  walls ; 
a  large  barn ;  granary  well  filled,  —  a  comfortable 
home  with  a  bright  future  before  them. 

When  the  timber  has  disappeared  from  eastern 
Minnesota,  the  land  will  produce  luxuriantly.  The 
country  will  not  be  settled  quite  as  rapidly  here  as 
west  of  the  Mississippi ;  but  it  is  not  to  be  forever 
a  wilderness.  The  time  will  come  when  along 
every  stream  there  will  be  heard  the  buzzing  of 
saws,  the  whirring  of  mill-stones,  and  the  click 
and  clatter  of  machinery.  This  vast  area  of  tim- 
ber will  inyite  every  kind  of  manufacturing,  and 
the  same  elements  which  have  contributed  so 
largely  to  build  up  the  Eastern  States  —  the  man- 
ufacturing and  industrial  —  will  here  aid  in  build- 
ing up  one  of  the  strongest  communities  of  our 
future  republic. 

Clearings  here  and  tliere,  cabins  by  the  road- 
side, bark  wigwams  wdiich  have  sheltered  wander- 
ing Ojibwas,  and  a  reach  of  magnificent  forest,  are 
the  features  of  the  country  through  which  we  ride 
this  glorious  afternoon,  with  the  sunlight  glimmer- 
ing among  the  trees,  till  suddenly  we  come  upon 
Chengwatona.  '  - 

It  is  a  small  village  on  Snake  Eiver,  with  a 

IN   THE  FOREST.  145 

hotel,  half  a  dozen  houses,  and  a  saw-mill  where 
pine  logs  are  going  up  an  incline  from  the  pond  at 
one  end,  and  coming  out  in  the  shape  of  bright 
new  lumber  at  the  other. 

The  dam  at  Cheng watona  has  flooded  an  im- 
mense area,  and  looking  toward  the  descending  sun 
we  behold  a  forest  in  decay.  The  trees  are  leafless, 
and  the  dead  trunks  rising  from  the  water,  robbed 
of  all  their  beauty,  present  an  indescribable  scene 
of  desolation  when  contrasted  with  the  luxuriance 
of  the  living  forest  through  which  we  have  passed. 

With  a  fresh  team  we  move  on,  finding  mud 
"  spots "  now  and  then.  We  remember  the  re- 
marks of  tlie  fellows  at  the  railroad.  We  dive  into 
holes,  the  forward  wheels  going  down  kercJiug,  send- 
ing bucketsful  of  muddy  water  upward  to  the  roof 
of  the  wagon  and  forward  upon  the  horses  ;  jounce 
over  corduroy  which  sets  our  teeth  to  chattering  ; 
then  come  upon  a  series  of  hollows  through  which 
we  ride  as  in  a  jolly-boat  on  the  waves  of  the  sea. 
The  wagon  is  ballasted  by  two  members  of  Con- 
gress on  the  back  seat,  and  by  our  rotund  physi- 
cian and  the  Vice-President  of  the  Northern  Pa- 
cific on  the  middle  seat.  The  President  is  out- 
side with  tlie  driver,  on  the  lookout  for  breakers, 
while  the  rest  of  us,  like  passengers  on  shipboard, 
stowed  beneath  the  hatches,  must  take  whatever 
comes.  The  members  of  Congress  bob  up  and 
down  like  electric  pith-balls  between  the  negative 
7  J 

146      ■  THE   SEAT   OF  EMPIKE. 

and  positive  poles  of  a  galvanic  battery, —  only 
that  the  positive  is  the  prevailing  force !  When 
the  forward  wheels  go  down  to  the  hub,  they  go 
up ;  and  then,  as  they  descend,  the  seat,  by  some 
unaccountable  process,  comes  up,  meets  them  half- 
way, —  and  with  such  a  bump  ! 

Then  we  who  are  shaking  our  sides  with  laugh- 
ter on  the  front  seat,  congratulating  ourselves,  like 
the  Pharisees,  that  we  are  not  as  tliey  are,  suddenly 
find  ourselves  sprawling  on  the  floor.  AVhen  ^^■e 
regain  our  places,  the  ^I.  D.  and  Vice-President 
come  forward  with  a  rush  and  embrace  us  frater- 
nally. We  get  our  legs  so  mixed  up  with  our 
neighbors'  that  we  can  hardly  tell  wdiether  our  feet 
belong  to  ourselves  or  to  somebody  else  !  The 
lifht  weidrts  of  the  party  are  knocked  about  like 
shuttlecocks,  wliile  the  solid  ones  roll  like  those 
ridiculous,  round-bottomed,  grinning  images  that 
we  see  in  the  toy-shops  !  I  myself  going  up 
and  down  after  the  manner  of  Sancho  Panza  when 
tossed  in  a  blanket. 

Our  dinners  are  well  settled  wdien  we  reacli 
Grindstone,  —  our  stopping-place  for  the  niglit. 
The  town  is  located  on  Grindstone  Creek,  and  con- 
sists of  a  log-house  and  stable,  surrounded  ]>y 
burnt  timber. 

Half  a  dozen  men  who  have  footed  it  from 
Duluth  are  nursing  their  sore  feet  in  one  of  the 
three  rooms  on  the  ground-floor.     The   furniture 

IN   THE   FOREST.  147 

of  the  apartment  consists  of  a  cast-iron  stove  in 
the  centre  and  three  rough  benches  against  the 
walls,  which  are  papered  with  pictorial  newspa- 

Tlie  occupants  are  discussing  the  future  pros- 
pects of  Dulutli. 

"  It  is  a  right  smart  chance  of  a  place,"  says  a 
tall,  thin-faced,  long-nosed  man  stretched  in  one 
corner.  We  know  by  the  utterance  of  that  one 
sentence  that  he  is  from  southern  Illinois. 
'  "  They  have  got  their  ^'-deas  pretty  well  up 
though,  on  real  estate,  for  a  town  that  is  only  a 
yearlin',"  says  another,  who,  by  his  accent  of  the 
?',  has  shown  that  he  too  is  a  "Western  man. 

An  Amazon  in  stature,  with  a  round  red  face, 
hurries  up  a  supper  of  pork  and  fried  eggs ;  and 
then  we  who  are  going  northward,  and  they  wdio 
are  travelling  southward,  —  sixteen  of  us,  all  told, 
—  creep  up  the  narrow  stairvv'ay  to  the  unfinished 
garret,  and  go  to  bed,  with  our  noses  close  to  the 
rafters  and  long  shingles,  through  the  crevices  of 
which  we  look  out  and  behold  the  stars  marching 
in  grand  procession  across  the  midnight  sky. 

It  is  glorious  to  lie  there  and  feel  the  tire  and 
weariness  go  out  of  us  ;  to  look  into  the  "  eterni- 
ties of  space,"  as  Carlyle  says  of  the  vault  of 
lieaven.  But  our  profound  thoughts  upon  the 
measureless  empyrean  are  brought  down  to  sub- 
lunary things  by  four  of  the  sleepers  who  engage 

148       ■  THE   SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

in  a  snoring  contest.  The  race  is  so  close,  neck 
and  neck,  or  rather  nose  and  nose,  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  decide  whether  the  deep  sonorous  — 
not  to  say  snorous  ? — bass  of  tlie  big  fellow  by  the 
window,  or  the  sharp,  piercing,  energetic  snorts 
of  the  tliin-faced,  lantern -jawed,  long-nosed  man 
from  southern  Illinois,  is  entitled  to  the  trumpet 
or  horn,  or  whatever  may  be  appropriate  to  sig- 
nalize such  championship.  Either  of  them  would 
have  been  a  power  in  the  grand  chorus  of  the 
Coliseum  Jubilee,  and  both  together  would  be 
equal  to  the  big  organ  ! 

We  are  off  early  in  the  morning,  feeling  a  little 
sore  in  spots.  The  first  thump  extorts  a  sudden 
oh !  from  a  member  of  Congress,  but  we  are  philo- 
sophic, and  accommodate  ourselves  to  circum- 
stances, tell  stories  between  the  bumpings,  and 
make  the  grand  old  forest  ring  with  our  laughter. 
It  is  glorious  to  get  away  from  the  town,  and  out 
into  the  woods,  where  you  can  shout  and  sing  and 
let  yourself  out  without  regard  to  what  folks  will 
say!  The  fountain  of  perennial  youth  is  in  the 
forest,  —  never  in  the  city.  Its  healing,  beautify- 
ing, and  restoring  waters  do  not  run  through 
aqueducts ;  they  are  never  pumped  up ;  but  you 
nmst  lie  down  upon  the  mossy  bank  beneath  old 
trees  and  drink  from  the  crystal  stream  to  obtain 

We  quench  our  thirst  from  gurgling  brooks,  pick 

IN  THE  FOREST.  149 

berries  by  the  roadside,  walk  aliead  of  the  him- 
bering  stage,  and  enjoy  the  solitude  of  the  inter- 
minable forest. 

Eighteen  miles  of  travel  brings  us  to  Kettle 
liiver  Crossing,  where  we  sit  down  to  a  dinner  of 
blackberries  and  milk,  bread  and  butter,  and  black- 
berry-pie, in  a  clean  little  cottage,  with  pictures 
on  the  walls,  books  on  a  shelf,  a  snow-white  cloth 
on  the  table,  and  a  trim  little  woman  waiting 
upon  us. 

"  May  I  ask  where  you  are  from  ? " 

"  Manchester,  New  Hampshire." 

It  was  Lord  Morpeth  or  the  Duke  of  Argyle,  I 
have  forgotten  which,  who  said  that  New  England 
looked  as  if  it  had  just  been  taken  out  of  a  band- 
box ;  so  with  this  one-storied  log-house  and  every- 
thing around  it.  We  had  sour-krout  at  Grind- 
stone, but  have  blackberries  here ;  and  that  is  just 
the  difference  between  Dutchland  and  New  Eng- 
land, whether  you  seek  for  them  on  the  Atlantic 
sloj)e  or  in  the  heart  of  the  continent. 

Space  is  Avanting  to  tell  of  all  the  incidents  of 
a  three  days'  forest  ride,  —  how  we  trolled  for 
pickerel  on  a  little  lake,  seated  in  a  birch-bark  canoe, 
and  hauled  them  in  hand  over  hand,  —  bouncing 
follows  that  furnished  us  a  delicious  breakfast ; 
how  we  laughed  and  told  stories,  never  minding 
the  bumping  and  thumping  of  the  wagon,  and 
came  out  strong,  like  Mark  Tapley,  every  one  of 



US ;  how  WG  gazed  upon  the  towering  pines  and 
sturdy  oaks,  and  beheld  the  gloom  settling  over 
nature  when  the  great  eelipse  occurred  ;  and  how, 
just  as  night  was  coming  on,  we  entered  Supe- 
rior, and  saw  a  horned  owl  sitting  on  the  ridge- 
pole of  a  deserted  house  in  the  outskirts  of  the 
town,  surveying  the  desolate  scene  in  the  twilight, 
—  looking  out  upon  the  cemetery,  the  tenantless 
houses,  and  the  blinking  lights  in  tlie  windows. 

Superior  has  been,  and  still  is,  a  city  of  the  Fu- 
ture, rather  than  of  the  Present.  It  was  laid  out 
before  the  war  on  a  magnificent  scale  by  a  party 
of  Southerners,  among  whom  was  John  C.  Breck- 
enridge,  who  is  still  a  large  owner  in  corner  lots. 

It  has  a  fine  situation  at  the  southwestern  cor- 
ner of  the  lake,  on  a  broad,  level  plateau,  with  a 
densely  timbered  country  behind  it.  The  St.  Louis 
Eiver,  which  rises  in  northern  Minnesota,  and 
which  comes  tumbling  over  a  series  of  cascades 
formed  by  the  high  land  between  Lake  Superior 
and  the  Mississippi,  spreads  itself  out  into  a  shal- 
low bay  in  front  of  the  town,  and  reaches  the  lake 
over  a  sand-bar. 

Government  has  been  erecting  breakwaters  to 
control  the  current  of  the  river,  with  the  expecta- 
tion of  deepening  the  channel,  which  has  about 
nine  feet  of  water ;  but  thus  far  the  improvements 
have  not  accomplished  the  desired  end.  The  bar 
is  a  great  impediment  to  navigation,  and  its  exist- 


IN  THE  FOREST.  151 

dice  has  had  a  Llighting  effect  on  tlie  once  fair 
prospects  of  Superior  City.  Dredges  are  employed 
to  (leejien  the  channel,  but  those  thus  far  used  are 
small,  and  not  much  has  been  accomplished.  The 
citizens  of  Superior  are  confident  that  with  a  lil)- 
cral  a2)propriation  from  government  the  channel 
can  be  deepened,  and  that,  wlien  once  cleared  out, 
it  can  be  kept  clear  at  a  small  expense. 

Superior  has  suffered  severely  from  the  reaction 
which  followed  the  flush  times  in  1857.  A  large 
amount  of  money  was  expended  in  improvements, 
—  grading  streets,  opening  roads,  building  piers, 
and  erecting  houses.  Then  the  war  came  on,  and 
all  industry  was  paralyzed.  The  Southern  pro- 
prietors were  in  rebellion.  The  growth  of  the 
place,  which  had  been  considerable,  came  to  a  sud- 
den stand-still. 

The  situation  of  the  town,  while  it  is  fortunate 
in  some  respects,  is  unfortunate  in  others.  It  is 
in  AVisconsin,  while  the  point  wliich  reaches  across 
the  head  of  the  lake  is  in  Minnesota.  The  last- 
named  State  wanted  a  port  on  the  lake  in  its  own 
dominion,  aLi  so  Duluth  has  sprung  into  exist- 
ence as  the  rival  of  its  older  neighbor. 

The  St.  Paul  and  Superior  liailroad,  having  its 
terminus  at  Duluth,  lies  wholly  within  tlie  State 
of  Minnesota,  and  conies  just  near  enough  to  Su- 
perior to  tantalize  and  vex  the  good  people  of  that 

152  THE  SEAT  OF  EMl'IRE. 

But  the  citizens  of  that  town  have  good  phick. 
I  do  not  know  what  motto  tlu^y  liave  adopted  for 
their  great  corporate  seal,  but  Nil  Dcspcrandam 
would  best  set  forth  their  hopefulness  and  deter- 
mination. They  are  confident  that  Superior  is  yet 
to  be  the  queen  city  of  the  lake,  and  are  deter- 
mined to  have  railway  comnmnication  with  the 
Mississippi  by  building  a  branch  line  to  the  St. 
Paul  and  Superior  Road. 

Our  party  is  kindly  and  hospitably  entertained 
by  the  people  of  the  place,  and  to  those  who  think 
of  the  town  as  being  so  far  northwest  that  it  is  be- 
yond civilization,  I  have  only  to  say  that  there  are 
few  drawing-rooms  in  the  East  wdiere  more  agree- 
able company  can  be  found  than  that  which  we 
find  in  one  of  the  parlors  of  Superior ;  few  places 
where  the  sonatas  of  Beethoven  and  Mendelssohn 
can  be  more  exquisitely  rendered  ujDon  the  piano- 
forte, by  a  lady  Avho  br.kes  her  own  bread  and 
cares  for  her  family  without  the  aid  of  a  servant. 

Tt  is  the  glory  of  our  civilization  that  it  adapts 
itself  to  all  the  circumstances  of  life.  I  have  no 
doubt  that  if  Minnie,  or  Winnie,  or  Georgiana,  or 
almost  any  of  the  pale,  attenuated  young  ladies 
who  are  now  frittering  aw^ay  their  time  in  study- 
ing the  last  style  of  panicrs,  or  thrumming  the 
piano,  or  reading  the  last  vapid  novel,  w^ere  to  have 
their  lot  cast  in  the  "West,  —  on  the  frontiers  of 
civilization, —  where  they  would  be  com;pelled  to  do 

IN  THE  FOREST.  153 

something  for  themselves  or  those  around  them, 
that  they  would  niuufuUy  and  icomanfuUy  accept 
the  situation,  be  far  happier  than  they  now  are, 
and  worth  more  to  themselves  and  to  the  world. 

I  dare  say  that  nine  out  of  every  ten  young  men 
selling  dry-goods  in  retail  stores  in  Boston  and 
elsewliere  have  high  hopes  for  the  future.  They 
are  going  to  do  something  by  and  by.  When  tliey 
get  on  a  little  farther  they  will  show  us  what  they 
can  accomplish.  But  the  chances  are  tliat  they 
will  never  get  that  little  farther  on.  The  tide  is 
against  them.  One  thing  we  are  liable  to  forget ; 
we  measure  ourselves  by  what  we  are  going  to  do, 
whereas  the  world  estimates  us  by  what  we  have 
already  done.  How  any  young  man  of  spirit  can 
settle  himself  down  to  earning  a  bare  existence, 
when  all  this  vast  region  of  the  Northwest,  with 
its  boundless  undeveloped  resources  before  him,  is 
inviting  him  on,  is  one  of  the  unexplained  mys- 
teries of  life.  They  will  be  Nobodies  where  they 
are ;  they  can  be  Somebodies  in  building  up  a  new 
society.  The  young  man  who  has  measured  off 
ri'obon  several  years,  as  thousands  have  who  are 
doing  no  better  to-day  than  they  did  five  years 
ago,  in  all  probability  will  be  no  farther  along,  ex- 
cept in  years,  five  years  hence  than  he  is  now. 





EMBARKING  at  a  pier,  and  steering  north- 
west, \vc  pass  uj)  the  bay,  with  the  long, 
narrow,  natural  breakwater,  Minnesota  Point,  on 
our  right  hand,  and  the  level  plateau  of  the 
main-land,  with  a  heavy  forest  growth,  on  our  left. 
Before  us,  on  the  sloping  hillside  of  tlie  northern 
shore,  lies  the  rapidly  rising  town  of  Duluth,  un- 
heard of  twelve  months  ago,  but  now,  to  use  a 
"Western  term,  "  a  right  smart  chance  of  a  place." 

One  hundred  and  ninety  years  ago  Duluth,  a 
French  explorer,  was  coasting  along  these  shores, 
and  sailing  up  this  bay  over  which  we  are  gliding. 
lie  wai.  the  first  European  to  reach  the  head  of  the 
lake.  He  crossed  the  country  to  the  Upper  Mis- 
sissippi, descended  it  to  St.  Paul,  where  he  met 
Father  Hennipen,  who  had  been  held  in  captivity 
by  the  Indians. 

It  is  suitable  that  so  intrepid  an  explorer  should 
be  held  in  remembrance,  and  the  founders  of  the 
new  town  have  done  wisely  in  naming  it  for  him, 
instead  of  calling  it  Washington  or  Jackson,  or 
adding  another  "  ville "  to  the  thousands  now  so 
perplexing  to  post-office  clerks. 

PUU'Tii.  155 

The  new  city  of  the  Nnrtlnvest  is  sheltered 
from  iiortlierly  winds  hy  the  high  lands  b(^lund  it. 
The  St.  Louis  Kiver,  a  stream  as  larj^c  as  tlie  ^fer- 
riniac,  after  its  turljulent  course  down  tlie  rocky 
rapids,  witli  a  (Uiscent  altogetlier  of  five  hunch'tMl 
I'tH't,  Hows  peacefully  past  tlie  town  into  tlie  J>ay 
of  Superior.  The  river  and  lake  together  have 
tlirown  u])  tlie  Ling  and  narrow  strip  of  land 
called  ^Minnesota  Point,  reaching  nearly  across  the 
liead  of  the  lake,  and  liehind  which  lies  the  bay. 
It  is  as  if  the  Titans  had  thrown  up  a  wide  rail- 
way embankment,  or  had  tried  their  hand  at  filling 
up  the  lake.  The  bay  is  shallow,  but  the  men  who 
projected  the  city  of  Duliith  are  in  no  wise  daunted 
l)v  that  fact.  Tliev  have  iilanned  to  make  a  harbor 
l)y  building  a  mole  out  into  the  lake  fifteen  hun- 
dred or  two  thousand  feet.  It  is  to  extend  from 
the  northern  shore  ftir  enough  to  mve  good  an- 
cliorage  and  protection  to  vessels  and  steamers. 

The  work  to  be  done  is  in  many  respects  similar 
to  what  has  been  accomplished  at  both  ends  of  the 
Suez  Canal.  When  M.  Lesseps  set  about  the  con- 
struction of  that  magnificent  enterprise,  he  found 
uo  harbor  on  the  Mediterranean  side,  but  only  a  low 
sandy  shore,  against  which  the  waves,  driven  by 
the  prevailing  western  winds,  were  always  break- 

The  shore  was  a  narrow  strip  of  sand,  behind 
which. lay  a  shallow  lagoon  called  Lake  Menzaleh. 

156  THE  SEAT   OF   EMPIRE. 

There  was  no  granite  or  solid  material  of  any  de- 
scription at  hand  for  the  construction  of  a,  break- 
water. Undaunted  by  the  difficulties,  he  com- 
menced the  manufacture  of  blocks  of  stone  on  the 
beach,  mixing  hydraulic  lime  brought  from  France 
with  tlie  sand  of  the  shore,  and  moistening  it 
with  salt  water.  He  erected  powerful  hydraulic 
presses  and  worked  them  by  steam.  After  the 
blocks,  which  weighed  twenty  tons  each,  had  dried 
three  months,  they  were  taken  out  on  barges  and 
tumbled  'uto  the  ocean  in  the  line  of  the  moles,  one 
of  which  was  8,178  feet,  nearly  a  mile  and  a  half, 
in  length  ;  the  other  5,000  feet,  enclosing  an  area 
of  about  five  hundred  acres.  More  than  100,000 
blocks  of  manufactured  stone  were  required  to 
complete  these  two  walls.  They  were  not  laid  in 
cement,  for  it  has  been  found  that  a  rubble  wall  is 
better  than  finished  masonry  to  resist  the  action 
of  the  waves.  Having  completed  the  walls, 
dredges  were  set  to  work,  and  the  area  has  been 
deepened  enough  to  enable  the  largest  vessels 
navigating  the  Mediterranean  to  find  safe  anclior- 

These  breakwaters  were  required  for  the  outer 
harbor,  but  an  inner  basin  was  needed.  To  obtain 
it,  M.  Lesseps  cut  a  channel  through  the  low  ridge 
of  sand  to  Lake  Menzaleh,  where  the  water  upon 
an  average  was  four  feet  deep.  A  large  area  has 
been  dredged  in  the  lake,  and  docks  constructed, 

DULUTH.  157 

and  now  the  commerce  of  the  world  between  the 
Orient  and  the  Occident  passes  through  the  basin 
of  Port  Said. 

The  Suez  Canal,  the  construction  of  a  large 
harbor  on  the  sand-beach  of  the  Mediterranean, 
and  another  of  equal  capacity  on  the  lied  Sea,  is 
one  of  the  wonders  of  modern  times,  —  a  triumph 
of  engineering  skill  and  of  the  indomitable  will 
of  one  eneri>;etic  man. 

The  people  of  Duluth  will  not  be  under  the  ne- 
cessity of  manufacturing  the  material  for  tlie  break- 
water, for  along  the  northern  shore  there  is  an 
abundant  supply  of  granite  which  can  be  easily 
quarried.  It  is  proposed  to  make  an  inner  harbor 
by  digging  a  canal  across  Minnesota  Point  and 
excavating  the  shallows. 

The  difficulties  to  be  overcome  at  Duluth  bear 
sliglit  comparison  with  those  already  surmounted 
on  the  Mediterranean.  The  commercial  men  of 
Chicago  contemplate  the  fencing  in  of  a  few  hun- 
dred acres  of  Lake  Michigan;  and  there  is  no 
reason  to  doubt  that  a  like  thing  can  be  done  at 
the  western  end  of  Lake  Superior. 

Two  years  ago  Duluth  was  a  forest ;  but  in  this 
month  of  May,  1870,  it  has  two  thousand  inhab- 
itants, with  the  prospect  of  doubling  its  population 
within  a  twelvemontli.  The  woodman's  axe  is 
ringing  on  the  hills,  and  the  trees  are  falling  be- 
neath his  sturdy  strokes.     From  morning  till  night 




we  hear  the  joiner's  plane  and  the  click  of  the 
\  mason's  trowel.  You  may  find  excellent  accom- 
modation in  a  large  hotel,  erected  at  a  cost  of  forty 
thousand  dollars.  We  may  purchase  the  products 
of  all  climes  in  the  stores,  —  sugar  from  the  West 
Indies,  coffee  from  Java,  tea  from  China,  or  silks 
from  the  looms  of  France. 

The  printing-press  is  here  issuing  the  Duluth 
]VIinnes(jtian,  a  sprightly  sheet  that  looks  sharply 
after  the  interests  of  this  growing  town. 

Musical  as  the  ripples  upon  the  pebbly  shore  of 
the  lake  are  the  voices  of  the  children  reciting 
their  lessons  in  yonder  school-house.  I  am  borne 
back  to  boyhood  days,  —  to  the  old  school-house, 
with  its  hard  benches,  where  I  studied,  played, 
cauglit  Hies,  was  cheated  swapping  jack-knives,  and 
got  a  licking  besides  '  Glorious  days  they  were 
for  all  that ! 

Presbyterian  and  Episcopal  churches  are  already 
organized,  also  an  Historical  Society.  During  the 
last  winter  a  course  of  lectures  was  sustained. 

The  stumps  are  yet  to  be  seen  in  the  streets, 
but  such  is  the  beginning  of  a  town  wliich  may 
yet  become  one  of  the  great  commercial  cities  of 
tlie  interior. 

A  meteorological  record  kept  at  Superior  since 
1855  shows  that  the  average  period  of  navigation 
has  been  two  hundred  and  sixteen  days,  which  is 
fully  as  long  as  the  season  at  Chicago. 






No.  of  Days. 




















March  20 



















































Steaming  up  the  river  several  miles  to  the  foot 
of  the  first  rapids,  and  landing  on  the  northern 
shore,  climbing  up  a  wet  and  slippery  bank  of  red 
clay  we  are  on  the  line  of  the  railroad,  upon  which 
several  hundred  men  are  employed. 

Grades  of  fifty  feet  to  the  mile  are  necessary 
from  the  lake  up  to  the  falls  of  the  St.  Louis,  but 
tlie  tonnage  of  the  road  will  be  largely  eastward, 
down  the  grade,  instead  of  westward. 

The  road  will  be  about  a  hundred  and  forty 
miles  in  length,  connecting  the  lake  witli  the  net- 
work of  railroads  centring  at  St.  Paul.  It  is 
li])erally  endowed,  having  in  all  1,630,000  acres 
of  land  heavily  timbered  with  pine,  butternut, 
white  oak,  sugar-maple,  ash,  and  other  w^oods. 

There  is  no  doul)t  that  this  line  of  road  will  do 
an   immense  amount  of  business.     Such   is   the 


estimation  in  which  it  is  lield  by  the  moneyed  men 
of  Philadelphia,  that  Mr.  Jay  Cooke  obtained  the 
entire  amount  of  money  necessary  to  construct  it 
in  four  days  !  The  bonds,  I  believe,  were  not  put 
upon  the  market  in  the  usual  manner,  by  adver- 
tising, but  were  taken  at  once  by  men  who  wanted 
them  for  investment. 

A  single  glance  at  the  map  must  be  sufficient  to 
convince  any  intelligent  observer  of  the  value  of 
such  a  franchise.  The  wheat  of  Minnesota,  to 
reach  Chicago  now,  must  be  taken  by  steamers  to 
La  Crosse  or  T^rairie  du  Chien,  and  thence  trans- 
ported by  rail  across  AVisconsin,  but  when  this 
road  is  put  in  operation,  the  j)roducts  of  Minne- 
sota, gathered  at  St.  Paul  or  Minneapolis,  will  seek 
this  new  outlet. 

Think  of  the  scene  of  activity  there  will  be 
along  the  line,  not  only  of  tins  road,  but  of  the 
Northern  Pacific,  when  the  two  are  completed  to 
the  lake,  of  an  almost  continuous  train  of  cars,  of 
elevators  pouring  grain  from  cars  to  ships  and 
steamers.  Think  of  the  fleet  that  will  soon  whiten 
tliis  great  inland  sea,  bearing  the  products  of  the 
immense  wheat-field  eastward  to  the  Atlantic 
cities,  and  bringing  baclv  the  industries  of  the 
Eastern  States ! 

It  is  only  when  I  sit  dcwn  to  think  of  the  future, 
to  measure  it  by  the  advancement  already  made, 
that  I  can  comprehend  anything  of  the  coming 

DULUTH.  161 

greatness  of  the  Northwest,  —  20,000,000  busli- 
els  of  wheat  this  year ;  500,000  inhahitaiits  in  tlic 
State,  yet  scarcely  a  hunch'edth  part  of  the  area  un- 
der cultivation.  What  will  be  the  product  ten  years 
lience,  when  the  population  will  reach  1,500,000  ? 
What  will  it  he  twenty  years  hence  ?  How  shall 
we  obtain  any  conception  of  the  business  to  be 
done  on  these  railways  when  Dakota,  IVIontana, 
Washington,  and  Oregon,  and  all  the  vast  region  of 
the  Assinniboine  and  the  Saskatchawan,  pour  their 
products  to  the  nearest  water-carriage  eastward? 
We  are  already  beyond  our  depth,  and  are  utterly 
unable  to  comprehend  the  probable  development. 

The  men  wlio  are  buildin"'  this  railroad  from  St. 
Paul  to  Duluth  have  not  failed  to  recognize  this 
one  fact,  that  by  water  Dulutli  is  as  near  as  Chi- 
cago to  the  Atlantic  cities.  Wheat  and  flour  can 
be  transported  as  cheaply  from  Duluth  to  Buffalo 
or  Ogdensburg  as  from,  the  southern  end  of  Lake 
IVTichigan,  while  the  distance  from  St.  Paul  to  Lake 
Superior  is  only  one  hundred  and  forty  miles 
against  four  hundred  and  eighty  to  Chicago.  We 
laay  conclude  that  the  wheat  of  Minnesota  can  be 
curried  fifteen  or  twenty  cents  a  bushel  cheaper 
by  Duluth  than  by  Lake  Michigan,  —  a  saving  to 
the  Eastern  consumer  of  almost  a  dollar  on  each 
barrel  of  flour.  Twenty  cents  on  a  Ijushel  saved 
will  add  at  least  four  dollars  to  the  yearly  product 
of  an  acre  of  land. 

1C2     ■  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIllE. 

The  difference  in  freight  on  articles  manufac- 
tured in  tlie  East  and  shipped  to  Minnesota  will 
be  still  more  marked,  for  grain  in  bulk  is  taken  at 
low  rates,  while  manufactured  goods  pay  first-class. 
The  completion  of  tliis  railway  will  be  a  great 
blessing  to  the  people  of  New  England  and  of  all 
the  East,  as  well  as  to  those  of  the  Northwest. 
Anything  that  abridges  distance  and  cheapens  car- 
riage is  so  much  absolute  gain.  I  do  not  think 
that  there  is  any  public  enter2)rise  in  the  country 
that  promises  to  produce  more  important  results 
than  the  opening  of  this  railway. 

An  elevator  company  has  been  organized  by 
several  gentlemen  in  Boston  and  Philadelphia,  and 
the  necessary  buildings  are  now  going  up.  The 
wheat  will  be  taken  directly  from  the  cars  into 
the  elevator,  and  discharged  into  the  fleet  of  pro- 
pellers running  to  Cleveland,  Buffalo,  and  Og- 
densburg,  already  aiTanged  for  this  Lake  Superior 

The  region  around  the  western  end  of  the  Lake 
has  resources  for  the  development  of  a  varied  in- 
dustry. Tlie  wooded  section  extends  from  Central 
Wisconsin  westward  to  the  Leaf  Hills  beyond  the 
j\[ississipi)i,  and  northward  to  Lake  Winnipeg. 
This  is  to  be  the  lumbering  region  of  the  North- 
west, for  thxC  manufacture  of  all  agricultural  im- 
plements,—  reapers,  mowers,  harvesters,  ploughs, 
drills,  seed-sowers,  wagons,  carriages,  carts,  and  fur- 

DULUTH.  163 

niture, — besides  fiirnisliiiig  lumber  for  fencing,  for 
railroad  and  building  purposes. 

Upon  tlie  St.  Louis  Eiver  tlicrc  is  exhaustless 
water-power,  —  a  descent  of  live  hundred  feet, 
with  a  stream  always  pouring  an  abundant  flood. 
Its  source  is  among  the  lakes  of  northern  Minne- 
sota, which,  being  filled  to  overflowing  by  the  rains 
of  spring  and  early  summer,  become  great  reser- 
voirs. With  such  a  supply  of  water  there  is  no 
locality  more  favoraljly  situated  for  the  manufac- 
ture of  every  variety  of  domestic  articles.  Un- 
doubtedly the  water-power  will  be  largely  employed 
for  flouring-mills.  The  climate  is  admirably  adapt- 
ed to  the  grinding  of  grain.  The  falls  being  so 
near  the  lake,  there  will  be  cheap  transportation 
eastward  to  Bullalo,  Cleveland,  Philadelphia,  New 
York,  and  Boston,  while  westward  are  the  prairies, 
easily  reached  by  the  railroads. 

Tlie  geological  formation  on  the  north  side  of 
Lake  Superior  is  granite,  but  as  w^e  follow  up  the 
St  Louis  Eiver  we  come  upon  a  ridge  of  slate.  It 
forms  the  backbone  of  the  divide  between  the  lake 
and  the  Mississippi  River. 

A  quarry  has  been  opened  from  which  slates  of 
a  quality  not  inferior  to  those  of  Vermont  are  ob- 
tained, and  so  far  as  we  know  it  is  the  only  quarry 
in  the  Northwest.  It  is  almost  invaluable,  for 
Nebraska,  Kansas,  Iowa,  western  Minnesota,  and 
Bakota  have  very  little  wood.    Shingles  are  costly, 

164       .  THE   SEAT   OF   KAiriRE. 

l)ut  here  is  abundant  material  to  cover  the  roofs 
of  the  millions  of  houses  that  are  yet  to  rise  upon 
the  prairies. 

This  slate  formation  is  thus  referred  to  by 
Thomas  Clark,  State  Geologist,  in  his  Eeport  to  the 
Governor  of  Minnesota,  dated  December,  1804 
tpp.  29,  30) :  — 

"  These  slates  are  found  in  all  degrees  of  charac- 
ter, from  the  common  indurated  argillaceous  fissile 
to  the  highly  metamorphosed  and  even  trappous 
type.  The  working  of  these  slates  demands  the 
attention  of  builders ;  their  real  value  is  economi- 
cally of  more  importance  to  the  prairie  and  sparsely 
timbered  valley  of  the  Mississippi  than  any  other 
deposit  in  the  State's  possession  on  the  lake.  The 
annual  draught  of  hundreds  of  millions  of  lumber 
upon  the  pine  forests  of  the  St.  Croix  and  Up23er 
]\Iississippi  and  tributaries  will  exhaust  those  re- 
gions before  the  close  of  this  century.  The  trustees 
of  our  young  Commonwealth  are  emphatically  ad- 
monished to  encourage  and  foster  the  working  of 
these  slates,  and  to  bring  them  into  use  at  the 
earliest  time  possible.  A  hundred  square  feet  of 
dressed  slates  at  the  quarries  of  Vermont,  New 
York,  and  Canada  are  worth  from  one  and  a  half 
to  two  dollars  ;  the  weight  ranges  from  four  to  six 
liundred  pounds,  or  about  four  squares  to  the  ton. 
A  ton  of  this  roofing  may  be  transported  from  the 
St.  Louis  quarry  to  the  Mississippi,  by  railway,  at 


three  dollars,  and  thence  by  river  to  the  landings  as 
iVir  down  as  St.  Lonis  or  Cairo  ;  hut  the  article 
may  be  at  all  points  in  this  State  accessible  by 
boats  or  railway,  at  an  avera*.,^e  cost  of  fifteen 
dollars  per  ton,  or,  at  most,  four  dollars  per  square, 
—  little,  if  any,  more  than  pine  shingles ;  the 
former  as  good  for  a  century  as  the  latter  is  for  a 
decade.  The  sup[)ly  of  these  cliffs  is  literally  in- 
exhaustible ;  if  one  fourth  of  this  slate  area  in  the 
St.  Louis  Valley  proves  available,  —  and  doubtless 
one  half  will,  —  it  will  yield  one  thousand  millions 
of  tons. 

"  The  demand  for  this  slate  at  ten  roofs  to  the 
square  mile,  and  for  forty  thousand  square  miles, 
would  be  one  million  of  tons,  or  one  thousandth 
part  of  the  material.  The  annual  demand  for  slates 
in  the  Mississip])i  Valley  may  be  reasonably  esti- 
mated at  one  hundred  thousand  tons,  an  exportable 
product  of  two  hundred  thousand  dollars,  besides 
the  element  of  a  permanent  income  to  the  railways 
and  water-craft  of  the  State  of  a  half-million  of 
dollars  annually." 

To-day  the  country  along  the  St.  Louis  is  a  wil- 
derness. Climb  the  hills,  and  look  upon  the  scene, 
and  think  of  the  coining  years. 

"  Thou  shiilt  look 
Upon  the  greoii  and  rolling  forest  tops, 
And  down  into  the  secrets  of  the  glens 
And  streams,  that  with  their  bordering  thickets  strive 
To  hide  their  windings.     Thou  shalt  gaze  at  once, 

U\G    ■  THE  sp:at  of  EMrillK. 

Hero  on  white  villages,  and  tilth  and  herds, 
And  swarming  roads,  and  there  on  solitudes 
That  only  Ix'ur  the  torrent,  and  the;  wind, 
And  eagle's  shriek." 

Here,  tliroiigh  the  bygone  centuries,  the  Indians 
have  set  their  nets  and  hooks  witliout  ever  dream- 
ing of  laying  their  hands  upon  the  wealtli  tliat 
Nature  has  ever  in  store  for  those  who  will  labor 
for  it. 

A  few  of  the  original  lords  of  the  forests  are 
here,  and  they  are  the  only  idlers  of  this  region. 
They  lounge  in  tlie  streets,  s([\vdt  in  groups  under 
the  lee  of  buildings,  and  pick  animated  soinctliings 
from  tlieir  hair  ! 

Their  cliief  appears  in  an  old  army  coat  with 
three  stars  on  each  shoulder,  indicating  that  he 
ranks  as  a  lieutenant-general  among  liis  peoj)le. 
lie  walks  with  dignity,  although  his  old  black 
stove-pipe  hat  is  Ijadly  squashed.  The  warriors 
follow  him,  wrapped  in  blankets,  with  eagle  fc^ath- 
crs  stuck  into  their  long  black  luiir,  and  are  as 
dignified  as  the  chief  Labor!  not  they.  Pale- 
faces and  squaws  may  work,  they  never.  S(i[uaw- 
power  is  their  liighest  conception  of  a  labor-saving 
machine.  They  have  lished  in  the  leaping  torrent, 
but  never  thought  of  its  being  a  giant  that  miglit 
be  put  to  work  for  their  benefit. 

It  is  evident  that  a  great  manufacturing  industry 
must  spring  up  in  this  region.  At  Minneapolis, 
St.  Cloud,  and  here  on  tlie  St.  Louis,  we  find  the 

DULUTH.  1C)7 

three  principal  water-powers  of  the  Northwest. 
The  town  ol'  Tlioiii])S(jii,  named  in  honor  of  ono 
of  tlio  ])i'()])rietors,  INIr.  I'Mj^ar  A.  Thompson  of 
rhila(I(jl]>liia,  has  l)een  hiid  out  at  the  falls,  and  he- 
ing  situated  on  the  line  of  the  railroad,  and  so 
convenient  to  the  lake,  will  ]M'ol)al)ly  havo  a  rapid 
f^'rowth.  The  St.  Paul  and  IMississippi  Railroad, 
which  winds  up  the  northern  hank  of  the  river, 
crosses  the  stream  at  that  point,  and  strikes  south- 
ward throuj^h  the  forests  to  St.  l*aul. 

The  road,  in  addition  to  its  j^rant  of  land,  has  re- 
ceived from  the  city  of  St.  Paul  S2()(),()()()  in  city 
honds,  and  this  county  of  St.  Louis  at  the  head  of 
the  lake  has  given  S  loO,000  in  county  honds. 

The  lands  of  this  company  are  generally  heavily 
timhered,  —  with  pine,  maple,  ash,  oak,  and  other 

The  white  pines  of  this  region  are  almost  as 
magnificent  as  those  that  formerly  were  the  glory 
(if  ]\Iaine  and  New  Hampshire.  Norway  pines 
abound.  Besides  transporting  the  lumber  from  its 
own  extensive  tracts  and  the  lands  of  the  govern- 
ment adjoining,  it  will  he  the  thoroughfare  for  an 
immense  territory  drained  by  the  Snake,  Kettle, 
St.  Louis,  and  St.  Croix  liivers. 

The  lands  that  hear  such  magnificent  forest- 
trees  are  excellent  for  agriculture.  Nowhere  in 
the  East  have  I  ever  seen  ranker  timothy  and  clo- 
ver than  we  saw  on  our  journey  from  St.  Paul. 



The  company  offer  favorable  terms  to  all  set- 
tlers. Men  from  Maine  and  New  Hampshire  are 
already  locating  along  the  line,  and  setting  up 
saw-mills.  They  were  lumbermen  in  the  East, 
and  they  prefer  to  follow  tlie  same  business  in  the 
West,  rather  than  to  speed  the  plough  for  a  living. 
I  doubt  not  that  the  chances  for  making  money 
are  quite  as  good  in  the  timbered  region  as  on 
the  prairies,  for  the  lumber  will  pay  for  the  land 
several  times  over,  which,  when  put  into  grain  or 
grass,  yields  enormously. 




THE  sun  was  throwing  liis  morning  beams  upon 
the  tree-tops  of  the  Apostle  Islands,  as  our 
little  steamer,  chartered  for  the  occasion  at  Superior, 
rounded  the  promontory  of  the  main-land,  turned 
its  prow  southward,  and  glided  into  the  harbor  of 
Bayfield,  on  the  southern  shore  of  the  lake. 

We  had  made  the  passage  from  Superior  City 
during  the  night,  and  were  on  deck  at  daybreak  to 
see  the  beauties  of  the  islands,  of  which  so  much 
has  been  written  by  explorers  and  tourists.  The 
scenery  is  not  bold,  but  beautiful.  Perhaps  there 
is  no  place  on  the  lake  where  more  charming  vistas 
open  to  the  eye,  or  where  there  is  such  a  succes- 
sion of  entrancing  views. 

The  islands,  eighteen  in  number,  lie  north  of 
the  promontory.  They  would  appear  as  high  hills, 
with  rounded  summits,  crowned  with  a  dense  for- 
est growth,  if  the  waters  were  drained  off;  for  all 
around,  between  the  islands  and  the  mainland,  are 
deep  soundings.  There  is  no  harbor  on  the  Atlan- 
tic coast,  ncne  in  the  world,  more  accessible  than 
Bayfield,  or  more  securely  land-locked.     It  may 

be  approached  during  the  wildest  storm,  no  matter 


which  way  the  wind  is  blowing.  When  the  north- 
easters raise  a  sea  as  terrible  as  that  which  some- 
times breaks  upon  Nahant,  the  captains  of  steamers 
,  and  schooners  on  Lake  Superior  run  for  the  Apos- 
tle Islands. 

Bayfield  is  about  sixty  miles  from  Superior  City, 
and  is  the  first  harbor  where  vessels  can  find  shelter 
east  of  the  head  of  the  lake.  The  Apostle  Islands 
seem  to  have  been  dumped  into  the  lake  for  the 
benefit  of  the  mighty  tide  of  commerce  which  in 
the  coming  years  is  to  float  upon  this  inland  sea. 

"  It  is,"  said  our  captain,  "  the  only  first-class 
harbor  on  the  lake.  It  can  be  approached  in  ill 
weathers  ;  the  shores  are  bold,  the  water  deep,  the 
anchorage  excellent,  and  the  ice  leaves  it  almost 
two  weeks  earlier  in  spring  than  the  other  harbors 
at  the  head  of  the  lake." 

The  town  of  Bayfield  is  named  for  an  officer  of 
the  Eoyal  Engineers,  who  was  employed  years 
ago  in  surveying  the  lake.  Hid  work  was  A\'ell 
done,  and  till  recently  his  charts  have  been  relied 
on  by  the  sailing-masters  ;  but  the  surveys  of  the 
United  States  Engineers,  now  approaching  com- 
pletion, are  more  minute  and  accurate. 

The  few  houses  that  make  up  the  town  are  beau- 
tifully located,  on  the  western  side  of  the  bay. 
Madeline  Island,  the  largest  of  the  group,  lies  im- 
mediately in  front,  and  s\elters  the  harbor  and 
town  from  the  northeast  storms. 


The  scream  of  the  steamer's  whistle  rings  sharply 
on  the  morning  air,  —  while  main-land  and  island, 
harbor  and  forest,  repeat  its  echoes.  It  wakes  up 
all  the  braves,  squaws,  and  pa];)pooses  in  the  wig- 
wams and  log-houses  of  the  Chippewa  reservation, 
and  all  the  inhabitants  of  Bayfield.  The  sun  is  just 
making  his  appearance  when  we  run  alongside  the 
pier.  It  is  an  early  hour  for  a  dozen  strangers, 
with  sharp-set  appetites,  to  make  a  morning  call, — 
more  than  that,  to  drop  in  thus  unceremoniously 
upon  a  private  citizen  for  breakfast. 

Tliere  being  no  hotel  in  the  place,  we  are  put  to 
this  strait.  Possibly  old  Nokomis,  who  is  cook- 
ing breakfast  in  a  little  iron  pot  with  a  big  piece 
knocked  out  of  its  rim,  who  squats  on  the  ground 
and  picks  out  the  most  savory  morsels  with  her 
fingers,  would  share  her  meal  with  us,  but  she 
does  not  invite  us  to  breakfast,  nor  do  we  care  to 
make  ourselves  at  home  in  the  wigwam. 

But  there  is  rare  hospitality  awaiting  us.  A 
gentleman  who  lives  in  a  large  white  house  in  the 
centre  of  the  town,  Captain  Vaughn,  tliough  not 
through  with  his  morning  nap  when  we  steam  up 
the  harbor,  is  wide  awake  in  an  instant. 

I  wonder  if  there  is  another  housewife  in  the 
United  States  who  would  provide  such  an  ample 
repast  as  that  which,  in  an  incredibly  short  space 
of  time,  appeared  on  the  table,  prepared  by  Mrs. 
Vaughn,  —  such  a  tender  steak,  mealy  potatoes. 


nice  biscuit,  delicious  coffee,  berries  and  sweet 
milk ;  a  table-cloth  as  white  as  the  driven  snow ; 
and  the  hostess  the  picture  of  health,  presiding  at 
the  table  with  charming  ease  and  grace,  not  at  all 
disturbed  by  such  an  avalanche  of  company  at 
such  an  hour  ! 

Where  the  breakfast  came  from,  or  who  cooked 
it  so  quickly,  is  an  unexplained  mystery;  and 
then  there  was  a  basketful  of  lunch  put  up  by 
somebody  for  us  to  devour  while  coasting  about 
the  bay,  and  the  hostess  the  while  found  time  to 
talk  with  us,  to  sit  down  to  the  parlor  organ  and 
charm  us  with  music.  So  much  for  a  Bayfield 
lady,  born  in  Ohio,  of  stanch  Yankee  stock. 

Embarking  on  Captain  Vaughn's  little  steam- 
yacht,  we  go  dancing  along  the  shores,  now  run- 
ning near  the  bluffs  to  examine  the  sandstone  for- 
mation like  that  of  the  Hudson,  or  looking  up  to 
the  tall  pines  waving  their  dark  green  plumes,  or 
beholding  the  lumbermen  felling  the  old  monarchs 
and  dragging  them  with  stout  teams  to  the  Bay- 
field saw-mills.  A  run  of  about  fifteen  miles 
brings  us  to  the  city  of  Ashland,  situated  at  the 
head  of  the  bay.  It  makes  quite  an  imposing  ap- 
pearance when  you  are  several  miles  distant,  and 
upon  landing  you  find  that  you  have  been  imposed 
upon.  Somebody  came  here  years  ago,  laid  out  a 
town,  surveyed  the  lots,  cut  out  magnificent  ave- 
nues through  the  forest,  found  men  who  believed 


that  Ashland  was  to  be  a  great  city,  who  bought 
lots  and  built  liouses ;  but  the  crowd  did  nut 
come ;  the  few  who  came  soon  turned  their  backs 
upon  the  place,  leaving  all  their  improvements. 
One  German  family  remains.  Two  pigs  were  in 
possession  of  a  parlor  in  one  deserted  house,  and  a 
cow  quietly  chewing  her  cud  in  another. 

A  mile  east  of  Ashland  is  Bay  City,  another 
place  planned  by  speculators,  but  which  probably 
might  be  purchased  at  a  discount. 

The  country  around  Bayfield  is  in  a  primitive 
condition  now,  but  the  time  is  rapidly  approaching 
for  a  change.  By  and  by  this  will  be  a  great  resort 
for  tourists  and  seekers  after  health.  Nature  has 
made  it  for  a  sanitarium.  No  mineral  springs 
have  been  discovered  warranted  to  cure  all  dis- 
eases, but  nowhere  in  this  Northwest  has  nature 
compounded  purer  air,  distilled  sweeter  water,  or 
painted  lovelier  landscapes.  The  time  will  come 
when  the  people  of  Chicago,  Milwaukie,  and  other 
Western  cities,  seeking  rest  and  recreation  during 
the  summer  months,  will  flee  to  this  harbor  of  re- 
pose. The  fish  are  as  numerous  here,  and  as  eager 
to  bite  the  hook,  as  anywhere  else  on  the  lake, 
while  the  streams  of  the  main-land  abound  with 
trout.  By  and  by  this  old  red  sandstone  will  be 
transformed  into  elegant  mansions  overlooking  the 
blue  waters,  and  it  would  not  be  strange  if  com- 
merce reared  a  great  mart  around  this  harbor. 


The  charter  of  tlie  Northern  Pacific  Railroad  ex- 
tends to  this  jjoiiit,  and  as  the  road  would  pass 
through  heavily  timbered  lands,  tlie  company  will 
find  it  for  their  interest  to  open  the  line,  as  it  will 
also  form  a  connecting  link  between  the  West  and 
the  iron  region  of  Lake  Superior. 

But  whether  a  city  rises  here,  whether  a  rail- 
road is  constructed  or  not,  let  me  say  to  any  one 
who  wants  to  pull  out  big  trout  that  this  is  the 

An  Indian  who  has  been  trying  his  luck  shows 
a  string  of  five-pounders,  caught  in  one  of  the 
small  streams  entering  the  bay.  There  is  no  sport 
like  trout-fishing.  Think  of  stealing  on  tiptoe 
along  the  winding  stream,  dropping  your  hook  into 
the  gurgling  waters,  and  feeling  a  moment  later 
something  tugging,  turning,  pulling,  twisting,  run- 
ning, now  to  the  right,  now  to  the  left,  up  stream, 
down  stream,  making  the  thin  cord  spin,  till  your 
heart  leaps  into  your  throat  through  fear  of  its 
breaking,  —  fear  giving  place  to  hope,  hope  to 
triumph,  when  at  length  you  land,  a  seven-pounder 
on  the  green  and  mossy  bank  !  You  find  such 
trout  in  the  streams  that  empty  into  the  lake 
opposite  the  Apostle  Islands,  —  trout  mottled  with 
crimson  and  gold ! 

Bidding  good  by  to  our  generous  host  and  host- 
ess we  take  an  eastward-bound  steamer  in  the 
evening  for  a  trip  down  the  lake,  stopping  for  an 


hour  or  two  at  Ontonagon,  then  steaming  on, 
rounding  Keweenaw  Point  during  the  night,  and 
reaching  IMarquette  in  tlie  morning. 

Fishing-boats  are  dancing  on  the  waves,  yachts 
scudding  along  the  shore,  tourists  rambling  over 
the  rocks  at  our  riglit  hand,  throwing  their  lines, 
pulling  up  big  trout,  steamers  and  schooners  are 
lying  in  the  harbor,  and  tlirift,  activity,  and  enter- 
prise is  everywhere  visible. 

We  see  an  immense  structure,  resembling  a  rail- 
way bridge,  built  out  into  the  harbor.  It  is  several 
hundred  feet  in  length,  and  twenty  or  more  in 
height.  A  train  of  cars  comes  thundering  down  a 
grade,  and  out  upon  the  bridge,  while  men  run- 
ning from  car  to  car  knock  out  here  and  there  a 
bolt  or  lift  a  catch,  and  we  hear  a  rumbling  and 
thundering,  and  feel  the  wharf  tremble  beneath 
our  feet.  It  is  not  an  earthquake  ;  they  are  only 
unloading  iron  ore  from  the  cars  into  bins. 

A  man  by  means  of  machinery  raises  a  trap- 
door, and  the  black  mass,  starting  with  a  rush, 
thunders  once  more  as  it  plunges  into  the  hold  of 
a  schooner.  It  requires  but  a  few  minutes  to  take 
in  a  cargo.  And  then,  shaking  out  her  sails,  the 
schooner  shapes  her  course  eastward  along  the 
"  Pictured  Eocks  "  for  the  St.  Mary's  Canal,  bound 
for  Cleveland,  Erie,  or  Chicago  with  her  freight  of 
crude  ore  to  be  smelted  and  rolled  where  coal  is 
near  at  hand. 


The  town  is  well  laid  out.  Altlioiigh  the  busi- 
ness portion  was  destroyed  by  fire  not  many 
months  ago,  it  has  been  rebuilt.  There  are 
elegant  residences,  churclies,  school  -  houses,  and 
stores.  Men  walk  the  streets  as  if  they  had  a 
little  more  business  on  hand  than  they  could  well 
attend  to. 

The  men  who  used  to  frequent  this  region  to 
trade  with  the  Indians  knew  as  early  as  1830  that 
iron  existed  in  the  hills.  But  it  was  not  till  1845, 
just  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago,  that  any  attempt 
was  made  to  test  the  ore.  Dr.  Jackson,  of  Boston, 
who  visited  Lake  Superior  in  1844,  pronounced  it 
of  excellent  quality.  '  He  informed  Mr.  Lyman 
Pray,  of  Charlestown,  Mass.,  of  its  existence,  and 
that  the  Indians  reported  a  "  mountain  "  of  it  not 
far  from  Marquette.  Mr.  Pray  at  once  started  on 
an  exploring  expedition,  reached  Lake  Superior, 
obtained  an  Indian  guide,  penetrated  the  forest, 
and  found  the  hills  filled  with  ore. 

About  the  same  time  a  gentleman  named  Ev- 
erett obtained  half  a  ton  of  it,  which  the  Indians 
and  half -breeds  carried  on  their  backs  to  the 
Carp  Eiver,  and  transported  it  to  the  lake  in 

It  was  smelted,  but  was  so  different  from  that 
of  Pennsylvania  that  the  iron-masters  shook  their 
heads.  Some  declared  that  it  was  of  no  particular 
value,  others  that  it  could  not  be  worked. 


The  Pittsburg  iron-men  pronounced  it  worth- 
less. But  Mr.  Everett  persevered,  sent  a  small 
quantity  to  the  Cold  water  forge,  where  it  was 
smelted  and  rolled  into  a  bar,  from  which  he  made 
a  knife-blade,  and  was  convinced  that  the  metal 
A\'as  superior  in  quality  to  any  other  deposit  in  the 

The  Jackson  Company  was  at  once  formed  for 
mining  in  the  iron  and  copper  region.  The  cop- 
per fever  was  at  its  height,  and  the  company  was 
organized  with  a  view  of  working  both  metals 
if  thought  advisable.  A  forge  was  erected  on 
the  Carp  Eiver  in  1847,  making  four  blooms  a 
day,  each  about  four  feet  long  and  eight  inches 

Another  was  built,  in  1854,  by  a  company  from 
"Worcester,  Mass.,  but  so  small  was  the  produc- 
tion that  in  1856  the  shipment  only  reached  five 
thousand  tons.  The  superior  qualities  of  the 
metal  began  to  be  known.  Other  companies  were 
formed  and  improvements  made ;  railroads  and 
docks  were  constructed,  and  the  production  has 
had  a  steady  increase,  till  it  has  reached  a  high 

There  are  fourteen  companies  engaged  in  min- 
ing, —  two  have  just  commenced,  while  the  others 
are  well  developed.  The  production  of  the  twelve 
principal  mines  for  the  year  1868  will  be  seen  from 
the  following  figures  :  — 

8*  ^ 






Lake  Superior,    . 

New  York, 

Lake  Angeline,  . 


Iron  Mountain,   . 


New  England,  . 


















The  increase  over  the  previous  year  is  between 
forty  and  fifty  thousand  tons.  The  yield  for  1869 
was  about  650,000  tons.  The  entire  production 
of  all  the  mines  up  to  the  close  of  1868  is  2,300,000 

Iron  mining  in  this  region  is  in  its  infancy; 
and  yet  the  value  of  the  metal  produced  last  year 
amounts  to  eighteen  million  dollars. 

The  cause  for  this  rapid  development  is  found 
in  the  fact  that  the  Lake  Superior  ore  makes  the 
best  iron  in  the  world.  Persistent  efforts  were 
made  to  cry  it  down,  but  those  who  were  engaged 
in  its  production  invited  rigid  tests. 

Its  tenacity,  in  comparison  with  other  quali- 
ties, will  be  seen  by  the  following  tabular  state- 
ment :  — 


Swedish,  59 

English  Cable  bolt,         .        .        ,        .        .  59 

Russian, 76 

Lake  Superior, 89^ 

"When  this  fact  was  made  known,  railroad  com- 
panies began  to  use  Lake  Superior  iron  for  the 
construction  of  locomotives,  car-wheels,  and  axles. 
Boiler  builders  wanted  it.  Tliose  who  tried  it 
were  eager  to  obtain  more,  and  the  result  is  seen 
in  the  rapidly  increasing  demand. 

The  average  cost  of  mining  and  delivering  the 
ore  in  cars  at  the  mines  is  estimated  at  about 
S2  per  ton.  It  is  shipped  to  Cleveland  at  a 
cost  of  $  4.35,  making  $  6.35  when  laid  on  the 
dock  in  that  city,  where  it  is  readily  sold  for  $  8, 
leaving  a  profit  of  about  $  1.65  per  ton  for  the 
shipper.  Perhaps,  including  insurance  and  inci- 
dentals, the  profit  may  be  reduced  to  about  $  1.25 
per  ton.  It  will  be  seen  that  this  is  a  very  remu- 
nerative operation. 

About  one  hundred  furnaces  in  Ohio  and  Penn- 
sylvania use  Lake  Superior  ore  almost  exclusively, 
while  others  mix  it  with  the  ores  of  those  re- 

A  large  amount  is  smelted  at  Lake  Superior, 
where  charcoal  is  used.  The  forests  in  the  vicinity 
of  the  mines  are  rapidly  disappearing.  The  wide- 
spreading  sugar-maple,  the  hardy  yellow  birch,  the 
feathery  hackmatack  and  evergreen  hemlock  are 

180    '  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

alike  tumbled  into  the  coal-pit  to  supply  fuel  for 
the  demands  of  commerce. 

The  charcoal  consumed  per  ton  in  smelting  costs 
about  eleven  cents  per  bushel.  For  reducing  a 
ton  of  the  best  ore  about  a  hundred  and  ten 
bushels  are  required;  for  a  ton  of  the  poorest 
about  a  hundred  and  forty  bushels,  giving  an 
average  of  $  13  per  ton.  The  cost  of  mining  is, 
as  has  already  been  stated,  about  $  2  per  ton.  To 
this  must  be  added  furnace-labor,  interest  on  cap- 
ital employed,  insurance,  freight,  commission,  mak- 
ing the  total  cost  about  $  35  a  ton.  As  the  iron 
commands  the  highest  price  in  the  market,  it  will 
be  seen  that  the  iron  companies  of  Lake  Superior 
are  having  an  enormous  income. 

Some  men  who  purchased  land  at  government 
price  are  on  the  high  road  to  fortune.  One  man 
entered  eighty  acres  of  land,  which  now  nets  him 
tiventy-fottr  thousand  dollars  per  annum  ! 

A  railroad  runs  due  west  from  Marquette,  gain- 
ing by  steep  gradients  the  general  level  of  the 
ridge  between  Superior  and  Michigan.  It  is  called 
the  Marquette  and  Ontonagon  Eailroad,  and  will 
soon  form  an  important  link  in  the  great  iron  high- 
way across  the  continent.  It  is  about  twenty 
miles  from  Marquette  to  the  principal  mines,  which 
are  also  reached  by  rail  from  Escanaba,  on  Green 
Bay,  a  distance  of  about  seventy  miles. 

The  ore  is  generally  found  in  hills  ranging  from 


one  to  five  hundred  feet  above  the  level  of  the 
surrounding  country.  The  elevations  can  hardly 
be  called  mountains ;  they  are  knolls  rather.  They 
are  iron  warts  on  Dame  Nature's  face.  They  are 
partially  covered  with  earth,  —  the  slew-forming 
deposits  of  the  alluvial  period. 

There  are  five  varieties  of  ore.  The  most  valua- 
ble is  what  is  called  the  specular  hematite,  which 
chemically  is  known  as  a  pure  anhydrous  sesqui- 
oxide.  This  ore  yields  about  sixty-five  per  cent 
of  pure  iron.  It  is  sometimes  found  in  conjunc- 
tion with  red  quartz,  and  is  then  known  as  mixed 

The  next  in  importance  is  a  soft  hematite,  re- 
sembling the  ores  of  Pennsylvania  and  Connecticut. 
It  is  quite  porous,  is  more  easily  reduced  than  any 
other  variety,  and  yields  about  fifty  per  cent  of 
pure  iron. 

The  magnetic  ores  are  found  farther  west  than 
those  already  described.  The  Michigan,  Washing- 
ton, Champion,  and  Edwards  mines  are  all  mag- 
netic. Sometimes  the  magnetic  and  specular  lie 
side  by  side,  and  it  is  a  puzzle  to  geologists  and 
chemists  alike  to  account  for  the  difference  be- 
tween them.  As  yet  we  are  not  able  to  under- 
stand by  what  subtle  alchemy  the  change  has  been 

Another  variety  is  called  the  silicious  hematite, 
which  is   more  difficult  of    reduction  than  the 

182  '  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE.    " 

others.  It  varies  in  richness,  and  there  is  an  un- 
limited supply. 

The  nfth  variety  is  a  silicious  hematite  found 
with  manganese,  which,  when  mixed  with  other 
ores,  produces  an  excellent  quality  of  iron.  Very 
little  of  this  ore  has  been  mined  as  yet,  and  its 
relative  value  is  not  ascertained. 

The  best  iron  cannot  be  manufactured  from  one 
variety,  but  by  mixing  ores  strength  and  ductility 
both  are  obtained.  England  senas  to  Eussia  and 
Sweden  for  magnetic  ores  to  mix  with  those  pro- 
duced in  Lancashire,  for  the  manufacture  of  steel. 
The  fires  of  Sheffield  would  soon  go  out  if  the 
manufactures  in  that  town  were  dependent  on 
English  ore  alone.  The  iron-masters  there  could 
not  make  steel  good  enough  for  a  blacksmith's 
use,  to  say  nothing  of  that  needed  for  cutlery,  if 
they  were  cut  off"  from  foreign  magnetic  ores. 

Here,  at  Lake  Superior,  those  necessary  for  the 
production  of  the  best  of  steel  lie  side  by  side. 
A  mixture  of  the  hematite  and  magnetic  gives  a 
metal  superior,  in  every  respect,  to  any  that  Eng- 
land can  produce. 

This  one  fact  settles  the  question  of  the  future  of 
this  region.  It  is  to  become  one  of  the  great  iron- 
marts  of  the  world.  It  is  to  give,  by  and  by,  the 
supremacy  to  America  in  the  production  of  steel. 

It  is  already  settled,  by  trial,  that  every  grade 
of  iron  now  in  use  in  arts  and  manufactures  can 


be  produced  here  at  Lake  Superior  by  niixing  the 
various  ores. 

The  miners  are  a  hardy  set  of  men,  rough,  un- 
couth, but  enterprising.  They  live  in  small  cot- 
tages, make  excellent  wages,  drink  whiskey,  and 
rear  large  families.  How  happens  it  that  in  all 
new  communities  there  is  such  an  abundance  of 
children  ?  They  throng  every  doorway,  and  by 
every  house  we  see  them  tumbling  in  the  dirt. 
Nearly  every  woman  has  a  child  in  her  arms. 

"We  cannot  expect  to  see  the  refinements  and 
luxuries  of  old  communities  in  a  country  where 
the  stumps  have  not  yet  been  cleared  from  the 
streets,  and  where  the  spruces  and  hemlocks  are 
still  waving  above  the  cottages  of  the  settlers, 
but  here  are  the  elements  of  society.  These  hard- 
handed  men  are  developing  this  region,  earning  a 
livelihood  for  themselves  and  enriching  those  who 
employ  them.  Towns  are  springing  into  exist- 
ence. We  find  Ishpeming  rising  out  of  a  swamp. 
Imagine  a  spruce  forest  standing  in  a  bog  where 
the  trees  are  so  thick  that  there  is  hardly  room 
enough  for  the  lumbermen  to  swing  their  axes,  the 
swamp  being  a  stagnant  pool  of  dai\k:-colored  water 
covered  with  green  slime ! 

An  enterprising  town-builder  purchased  this  bog 
for  a  song,  and  has  laid  out  a  city.  Here  it  is, 
—  dwelling-houses  and  stores  standing  on  posts 
driven  into  the  mud,  or  resting  on  the  stumps. 


He  has  filled  up  tlie  streets  with  the  ddhris  from 
the  mines.  Frogs  croak  beneath  the  dwellings,  or 
sun  themselves  on  the  sills.  The  town  is  not  thus 
growing  from  the  swamp  because  there  is  no  solid 
land,  but  because  the  upland  has  exhaustless  beds 
of  iron  ore  beneath,  too  valuable  to  be  de\oted  to 
building  purposes. 

•I  have  seen  few  localities  so  full  of  promise  for 
the  future,  not  this  one  little  spot  in  the  vicinity 
of  Marquette,  but  the  entire  metallic  region  be- 
tween Lake  Superior  and  Lake  Michigan. 

Look  at  the  locality  !  It  is  half-way  across  the 
continent.  Lake  Michigan  laves  the  southern, 
Superior  the  northern  shore,  while  the  St.  Law- 
rence furnishes  water-carriage  to  the  Atlantic. 
A  hundred  and  fifty  miles  of  rail  from  Bayfield 
will  give  connection  with  the  navigable  waters  of 
the  Mississippi.  Through  this  peninsula  will  yet 
lie  the  shortest  route  between  the  Atlantic  and 
Pacific.  Westward  are  the  wheat-fields  of  the 
continent,  to  be  peopled  by  an  industrious  and 
thriving  community.  There  '  xjq  point  more  cen- 
tral than  this  for  easy  transporUition. 

Here,  just  where  the  future  millions  can  be 
easiest  served,  exhaustless  deposits  of  the  best  ore 
in  the  world  have  been  placed  by  a  Divine  hand 
for  the  use  and  welfare  of  the  mighty  race  now 
begiiming  to  put  forth  its  energies  on  this  western 


Towns,  cities,  and  villages  are  to  arise  amid  these 
hills ;  the  forests  and  the  hills  themselves  are  to 
disappear.  The  product,  now  worth  seventeen  mil- 
lions of  dollars  per  annum,  erelong  will  be  valued 
at  a  hundred  millions. 

I  think  of  the  coming  years  when  this  place 
will  be  musical  with  the  hum  of  machinery ;  when 
the  stillness  of  the  summer  day  and  the  crisp  air 
of  winter  will  be  broken  by  the  songs  of  men  at 
work  amid  flaming  forges,  or  at  the  ringing  anvil. 
From  Marquette,  and  Bayfield,  and  Ontonagon, 
and  Escanaba,  from  every  harbor  on  these  in- 
land seas,  steamers  and  schooners,  brigs  and  ships, 
will  depart  freighted  with  ore;  hither  they  will 
come,  bringing  the  products  of  the  farm  and  work- 
shop. Heavily  loaded  trains  will  thunder  over 
railroads,  carrying  to  every  quarter  of  our  vast 
domain  the  metals  manufactured  from  the  mines 
of  Lake  Superior. 

We  have  but  to  think  of  the  capabilities  of  this 
region,  its  extent  and  area,  the  increase  of  popula- 
tion, the  development  of  resources,  the  construc- 
tion of  railways,  the  growth  of  citie?  and  towns ; 
we  have  only  to  grasp  the  probabilities  of  the  fu- 
ture, to  discern  the  dawning  commercial  greatness 
of  this  section  of  our  country. 




"  T    HAVE  called  to  have  a  little  talk  about  the 

i  West,  and  think  that  I  should  like  a  farm  in 
Minnesota  or  in  the  Red  River  country,"  said  a 
gentleman  not  long  since,  who  introduced  himself 
as  Mr.  Blotter,  and  who  said  he  was  "  clerking  it." 

"  I  want  to  go  out  West  and  raise  stock,"  said 
another  gentleman  who  stopped  me  on  the  street. 

"  Where  would  you  advise  a  fellow  to  go  who 
hasn't  much  money, but  who  is  n't  afraid  to  work  ?" 
said  a  stout  young  man  from  Maine. 

"I  am  a  machinist,  and  want  to  try  my  luck 
out  West,"  said  another  young  man  hailing  from 
a  manufacturing  town  in  Massachusetts. 

"  I  am  manufacturing  chairs,  and  want  to  know 
if  there  is  a  place  out  West  where  I  can  build  up 
a  good  business,"  said  another. 

Many  other  gentlemen,  either  in  person  or  by 
letter,  have  asked  for  specific  information. 

It  is  not  to  be  expected  that  I  can  point  out  the 
exact  locality  suited  to  each  individual,  or  with 
which  they  would  be  suited,  but  for  the  benefit 
of  all  concerned  I  give  the  substance  of  an  eve- 
ning's talk  with  Mr.  Blotter. 


"  I  want  a  farm,  I  am  tired  of  the  city,"  said  he. 

Well,  sir,  you  can  be  accommodated.  The 
United  States  government  has  several  million 
acres  of  land,  —  at  least  30,000,000  in  Minnesota, 
to  say  nothing  of  Dakota  and  the  region  beyond, 
—  and  you  can  help  yourself  to  a  farm  out  of  any 
unoccupied  territory.  The  Homestead  Law  of  1862 
gives  a  hundred  and  sixty  acres,  free  of  cost,  to 
actual  settlers,  whether  foreign  or  native,  male  or 
female,  over  twenty-one  years  old,  or  to  minors 
having  served  fourteen  days  in  the  army.  For- 
eigners must  declare  their  intention  to  become 
citizens.  Under  the  present  Pre-emption  Law 
settlers  often  live  on  their  claims  many  years 
before  they  are  called  on  to  pay  the  S  1.25  per 
acre,  —  the  land  in  the  mean  time  having  risen  to 
$10  or  $  12  per  acre.  A  recent  decision  gives 
single  women  the  right  to  pre-empt.  Five  years' 
residence  on  the  land  is  required  by  the  Home- 
stead Law,  and  it  is  not  liable  to  any  debts  con- 
tracted before  the  issuing  of  the  patent. 

The  State  of  Minnesota  has  a  liberal  law  relative 
to  the  exemption  of  real  estate  from  execution. 
A  homestead  of  eighty  acres,  or  one  lot  and  house, 
is  exempt ;  also,  five  hundred  dollars'  worth  of 
furniture,  besides  tools,  bed  and  bedding,  sewing- 
machine,  three  cows,  ten  hogs,  twenty  sheep,  a 
span  of  horses,  or  one  horse  and  one  yoke  of  oxen, 
twelve  months'  provisions  for  family  and  stock,  one 


wagon,  two  ploughs,  tools  of  a  mechanic,  library  of 
a  professional  man,  five  hundred  dollars*  worth  of 
stock  if  a  trader,  and  various  other  articles. 

You  will  find  several  railroad  companies  ready 
to  sell  you  eighty,  or  a  hundred  and  sixty,  or 
six  Inmdred  and  forty  acres  in  a  body,  at  reason- 
able rates,  giving  you  accommodating  terms. 

"  "Would  you  take  a  homestead  from  government, 
or  would  you  buy  lands  along  the  line  of  a  rail- 
road ? " 

That  is  for  you  to  say.  If  you  take  a  homestead 
it  will  necessarily  be  beyond  the  ten-mile  limit  of 
the  land  granted  to  the  road,  where  the  advance 
in  value  will  not  keep  pace  with  lands  nearer  the 
line.  You  will  find  government  lands  near  some 
of  the  railroads,  which  you  can  purchase  for  $  2.50 
per  acre,  cash  down.  The  railroad  companies 
will  charge  you  from  $  2  to  $  10,  according  to 
location,  but  will  give  you  time  for  payment. 

"  What  are  their  terms  ? " 

The  St.  Paul  and  Pacific  Eailroad,  the  main  line 
of  which  is  to  be  completed  to  the  Eed  Eiver  this 
year,  and  which  owns  the  branch  line  running  from 
St.  Paul  up  the  east  bank  of  the  Mississippi  to  St. 
Cloud,  have  a  million  acres  of  prairie,  meadow, 
and  timber  lands  which  they  will  sell  in  tracts  of 
forty  acres  or  more,  and  make  the  terms  easy.  Sup- 
pose you  were  to  buy  eighty  acres  at  $  8  per  acre, 
that  would  give  you  a  snug  farm  for  $  640.    If 



you  can  pay  cash  down,  they  will  make  it  S  7  per 
acre,  —  $  80  saved  at  the  outset ;  but  if  you  have 
only  a  few  dollars  in  your  pocket  they  will  let  you 
pay  a  year's  interest  at  seven  per  cent  to  begin 
with,  and  the  principal  and  interest  in  ten  annual 
payments.  The  figures  would  then  run  in  this 
way :  — 

■*-'^6**V    ' 



1*11   «U^  vj    p^x    < 


V  v/^iv-'. 




1st  year,     .     .      $44.80 

2d     "       . 

.    40.32    .     . 

.  $  64.00      . 

.     $  104.32 

3d      "       , 

35.84    .    , 

.    .     64.00     .    . 

.     99.84 

4th    " 

31.36    . 

.    .     64.00      .    . 

.     95.36 

5th    " 

.    26.88    . 

.     .     64.00      .     . 

.     90.88 

6th    "       . 

22.40    .     . 

.    64.00      .     . 

.     86.40 

7th    "       . 

17.92     .     . 

.     64.00      .     . 

.     81.92 

8th    " 

.     13.44    . 

.     64.00      .     . 

.     77.44 

9th    " 

.      8.96    . 

.     .     64.00      .     , 

.     72.90 

10th    " 

.      4.48    . 

.     .     64.00      .    . 

.     68.48 

nth    " 

.     .    64.00      .     . 

.     64.00 

"  The  second  y^r  will  be  the  hardest,"  said  Mr. 
Blotter,  "  for  I  shall  have  to  fence  my  farm,  build 
a  cabin,  and  purchase  stock  and  tools.  Is  there 
fencing  material  near  ?  " 

That  depends  upon  where  you  locate.  If  you 
are  near  the  line  of  the  railway,  you  can  have  it 
brought  by  cars.  If  you  locate  near  the  "  Big 
Woods"  on  the  main  line  west  of  Minneapolis, 
you  will  have  timber  near  at  hand.  Numerous 
saw-mills  are  being  erected,  some  driven  by  water 


and  others  by  steam.  The  ti inhered  lands  of  the 
company  are  already  held  at  hif,di  rates, —  from  $7 
to  SIO  per  acre.  The  country  beyond  the  "Big" 
AVoods"  is  all  prairie,  with  no  timber  except  a  few 
trees  along  the  streams.  It  is  filling  up  so  rapidly 
with  settlers  that  wood-lands  are  in  great  demand, 
for  when  cleared  tliey  are  just  as  valuable  as  the 
prairie  for  farming  purposes. 

Many  settlers  who  took  up  homesteads  before 
the  railroad  was  surveyed  now  find  themselves  in 
good  circumstances,  especially  if  they  are  near  a 
station.  In  many  places  near  towns,  land  which 
a  year  ago  could  have  been  had  for  $2.50  per  acre 
is  worth  $  20  to-day. 

"  Is  the  land  in  the  Mississippi  Yalley  above  St. 
Paul  any  better  than  that  of  the  prairies  ? " 

Perhaps  you  have  a  mistaken  idea  in  regard  to 
the  Mississippi  Valley.  There  are  no  bottom-lands 
on  the  Upper  Mississippi.  The  prairie  borders  upon 
the  river.  You  will  find  the  latid  on  the  east  side 
better  adapted  to  grazing  than  for  raising  wheat 
The  company  do  not  hold  their  lands  along  the 
branch  at  so  high  a  figure  as  on  the  main  line. 
Some  of  my  Minnesota  friends  say  that  stock-grow- 
ing on  the  light  lands  east  of  the  Mississippi  is 
quite  as  profitable  as  raising  wheat.  Cattle,  sheep, 
and  horses  transport  themselves  to  market,  but  you 
must  draw  your  grain. 

If  you  are  going  into  stock-raismg,  you  can  af- 


ford  to  be  at  a  greater  distance  from  a  railroad  sta- 
tion than  tlie  man  wlio  raises  wheat.  It  would  un- 
doubtedly be  fur  the  interest  of  the  company  to  sell 
you  their  outlying  lands  along  the  branch  line  at  a 
low  figure,  for  it  would  enhance  the  value  of  those 
nearer  the  road.  You  will  find  St.  Cloud  and  Ano- 
ka thriving  places,  which,  with  St.  Paul  and  j\Iin- 
neapolis,  will  give  a  good  home  demand  for  beef 
and  mutton,  to  say  nothing  of  the  facilities  for 
reaching  Eastern  markets  by  the  railroads  and  lakes. 

"  Do  the  people  of  Minnesota  use  fertilizers  ?  " 

No ;  they  allow  the  manure  to  accumulate 
around  their  stables,  or  else  dump  it  into  the  river 
to  get  rid  of  it ! 

They  sow  wheat  on  the  same  field  year  after 
year,  and  return  nothing  to  the  ground.  They 
even  burn  the  straw,  and  there  can  be  but  one 
result  coming  from  such  a  process,  —  exhaustion 
of  the  soil,  —  poor,  worn-out  farms  by  and  by. 

The  farmers  of  the  AVest  are  cruel  towards 
Mother  Earth.  She  freely  bestows  her  riches,  and 
then,  not  satisfied  with  her  gifts,  they  plunder  her. 
Men  everywhere  are  shouting  for  an  eight-hour 
law ;  they  must  have  rest,  time  for  recreation  and 
improvement  of  body  and  mind;  but  they  give  the 
soil  no  time  for  recuperation.  Men  expect  to  be 
paid  for  their  labors,  but  they  make  no  payment 
to  the  kind  mother  who  feeds  them;  they  make 
her  work  and  live  on  nothing.     Farming,  as  now 

102  •        THE   SKAT   OF  EMPIUE. 

carried  on  in  the  West  and  Northwest,  is  down- 
riglit  robbery  and  pUmder,  and  notliin*^  else.  If 
the  present  exhaustive  system  is  kept  up,  the  time 
will  come  wlien  the  wheat-fields  of  Minnesota,  in- 
stead of  producing  twenty-tive  bushels  to  the  acre 
ujion  an  average  throughout  the  State,  will  not 
yield  ten,  which  is  the  product  in  Ohio ;  and  yet, 
with  a  systematic  rotation  of  crops  and  ai)plication 
of  fertilizers,  the  present  marvellcjus  richness  of 
the-  soil  can  be  maintained  forever. 

"  Do  the  tame  grasses  flourish  ? " 

Splendidly ;  I  never  saw  finer  fields  of  timothy 
than  along  the  line  of  the  St.  l*aul  and  Pacific 
Railroad,  west  of  Minneapolis.  White  clover 
seems  to  spring  up  of  its  own  accord.  I  remem- 
ber that  I  saw  it  growing  luxuriantly  along  a  path- 
way in  the  Eed  River  Valley,  and  by  the  side  of 
the  military  road  leading  througli  the  woods  to 
Lake  Superior.  Hay  is  very  abundant,  and  ex- 
ceedingly cheap  in  Minnesota.  I  doubt  if  there 
is  a  State  in  the  Union  that  has  a  greater  breadtli 
of  first-class  grass-lands.  Hon.  Thomas  Clarke, 
Assistant  State  Geologist,  estimates  the  area  of 
meadow-lands  between  the  St.  Croix  and  the  IMis- 
sissippi,  and  south  of  Sandy  Lake,  at  a  million 
acres.  He  says  :  "  Some  of  these  are  very  exten- 
sive, and  bear  a  luxuriant  growth  of  grass,  often 
five  or  six  feet  in  height.  It  is  coarse,  but  sweet, 
and  is  said  to  make  excellent  hay." 


I  passed  through  some  of  those  meadows,  and 
can  speak  from  personal  observation.  I  saw  many 
acres  that  would  yield  two  tons  to  the  acre.  The 
grasses  are  native,  Ihit-leaved,  foul-meadow  and 
blue-joint,  just  such  as  I  used  to  swing  a  scythe 
through  years  ago  in  a  meadow  in  New  Hamp- 
shire which  furnislied  a  fair  quality  of  hay.  The 
time  will  come  when  those  lands  will  be  valuable, 
although  they  are  not  held  very  high  at  present. 
A  few  years  ago  the  Kankakee  swamps  in  Illinois 
and  Indiana  were  valueless,  but  now  they  yield 
many  thousand  tons  of  hay,  and  are  rising  in  the 

"  How  about  fruit  ?  I  don't  want  to  go  where 
I  cannot  raise  fruit."  : 

Those  native  to  the  soil  are  strawberries,  rasp- 
berries, blackberries,  gooseberries,  huckleberries, 
cherries,  and  plums.  I  picked  all  of  these  upon 
the  prairies  and  along  the  streams  while  there. 
The  wild  plum  is  very  abundant,  and  in  the  fall 
of  the  year  you  will  see  thousands  of  bushels  in 
the  markets  at  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis.  They 
make  an  excellent  sauce  or  preserve. 

Minnesota  may  be  called  the  Cranberry  State. 
Many  farmers  make  more  money  from  their  cran- 
berry-meadows than  from  their  wheat-fields.  The 
marshes  in  the  northern  section  of  tlie  State  are 
covered  with  vines,  and  the  lands  along  the  St. 
Croix  yield  abundantly. 

194     ■  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

Mr,  Clarke,  the  geologist,  says :  ''  There  are 
256,000  acres  of  cranberry- marsli  in  the  triangle 
between  the  St.  Croix  and  Mississippi,  and  bound- 
ed north  by  the  St.  Louis  and  Prairie  Pavers !  The 
high  price  paid  for  this  delicious  fruit  makes  its 
cultivation  very  profitable  in  Minnesota,  as  well 
as  in  New  Jersey  and  on  Cape  Cod." 
.  "Can  apples  be  raised?  I  am  fond  of  them, 
and  should  consider  it  a  drawback  if  I  could  not 
have  an  apple-orchard,"  said  the  persistent  Mr. 


I  understand  that  till  wdthin  a  year  or  two  the 
prospect  for  apples  was  not  very  encouraging.  The 
first  orchards  were  from  Illinois  nurseries,  and  it 
was  not  till  native  stocks  were  started  that  suc- 
cess attended  the  fruit-growers'  efforts;  but  now 
they  have  orchards  as  thrifty  and  bountiful  as  any 
in  the  country.  At  the  last  State  Fair  held  at 
Piochester,  one  fruit-grower  had  fifty  bushels  on 
exhibition,  and  two  hundred  more  at  home.  It 
was  estimated  that  the  yield  in  Winona  County 
last  year  was  thirty  thousand  bushels.* 

The  St.  Paul  Press,  noticing  the  display  of  fruits 
at  the  Pamsay  and  Hennipen  County  Fair,  says  : 
"  These  two  fairs  have  set  at  rest  the  long-mooted 

*  These  and  many  other  facts  relating  to  Minnesota  are  ob- 
tained from  "Minnesota  as  it  is  in  1870,"  by  J.  W.  McCluiig, 
of  St.  Paul,  —an  exceedingly  valuable  work,  crammed  with  iu- 

A  FAMILIAR  TALK.  .     195 

question,  whether  Minnesota  is  an  apple-growing 
State.  Over  two  hundred  varieties  of  the  apple, 
exclusive  of  the  crab  species,  were  exhibited  at 
Minneapolis,  and  a  large  number  at  St.  Paul,  of 
the  finest  development  and  flavor,  and  this  fact 
will  give  an  immense  impetus  to  fruit-growing  in 
our  State."  ■  /t, 

The  following  varieties  were  exhibited  at  the 
last  meeting  of  the  Fruit-Growers'  Association,  of 
AVinona  County :  The  Duchess  of  Oldenburg,  Tit- 
ter's Large,  Early  Red,  Sweet  June,  Perry  Rus- 
set, Fall  Stripe,  Keswick  Codlin,  Red  Astracan, 
Plum  Cider,  Phoenix,  Wagner,  Ben  Davis,  German 
Bough,  Carolina  Red  June,  Bailey  Sweet,  St. 
Lawrence,  Sops  of  Wine,  Seek-no-further,  Famuse, 
Price  Sweet,  Pomme  Grise,  Tompkins  County 
King,  Northern  Spy,  Golden  Russet,  Sweet  Pear, 
Yellow  Ingestrie,  Yellow  Bellflower,  Lady  Finger, 
Piaule's  Jannet,  Kirkbridge  White,  Janiton,  Dume- 
low.  Winter  Wine  Sap,  Chronicle,  Fall  Wine  Sap, 
Eosseau,  Colvert,  Benoni,  Red  Romanite. 

Many  of  the  above  are  raised  in  New  England, 
so  that  those  people  who  may  cut  loose  from  the 
East  need  not  be  apprehensive  that  they  are  bid- 
ding good  by  forever  to  the  favorite  fruits  that 
have  been  a  comfort  as  well  as  a  luxury  in  their 
former  homes. 

"  I  take  it  that  grapes  do  not  grow  there ;  it 
must  be  too  far  north,"  said  my  visitor. 



On  the  contrary,  they  are  indigenous.  You  find 
wild  grapes  along  the  streams,  and  in  the  gardens 
around  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis  you  will  see 
many  of  the  cultivated  varieties  bearing  magnifi- 
cent clusters  on  the  luxuriant  vines. 

"  How  about  corn,  rye,  oats,  and  other  grains ; 
can  they  be  raised  with  profit  ? " 

The  following  figures,  taken  from  tha  official  re- 
port made  to  the  last  legislature  of  the  products 
for  1869,  will  show  the  capabilities  of  the  soil :  — 

Wheat,   . 
Corn,  . 
Barley,    . 
Rye,   . 
Hay,  . 
Wool,     . 
Cheese,    . 
Maple  Sugar, 
Flax, . 

18,500,000  bushels, 
6,125,000      "  . 
.  28,000 
.     430,000  tons,  . 
390,000  pounds. 






Average  per  Acre. 
.     18^ 

.    43 
.    30.6 

.    16 



80,000  gallons  syrup. 
300,000  pounds. 
.      170,000      " 

From  this  it  would  seem  that  the  State  is  des- 
tined to  be  one  of  the  most  productive  in  the 

*'  Have  they  good  schools  out  there  ? " 
Just  as  good  as  in  New  England.     Two  sections 
of  land  are  set  aside  for  the  common-school  fund. 


The  entire  amount  of  school  lands  in  the  State 
will  be  three  million  acres. 

These  are  sold  at  the  rate  of  five  dollars  per 
acre,  and  the  money  invested  in  State  or  govern- 
ment bonds.  Governor  Marshall,  in  his  last  mes- 
sage, estimated  the  sum  ultimately  to  be  derived 
from  the  lands  at  sixteen  million  dollars.  A 
school  tax  of  two  mills  on  the  dollar  is  levied, 
which,  with  the  interest  from  the  fund,  gives  a 
hberal  amount  for  education. 

"At  what  season  of  the  year  ought  a  man  to 
go  West  ? " 

That  depends  very  much  upon  what  you  intend 
to  do.  If  you  are  going  to  farming,  and  intend  to 
settle  upon  the  prairies,  you  must  be  there  in 
season  to  break  up  your  ground  in  July.  If  the 
sod  is  turned  when  the  grass  is  full  of  juices,  it 
decays  quickly,  and  your  ground  will  be  in  good 
condition  for  next  year's  ploughing.  If  you  go  into 
the  timbered  lands  along  the  Lake  Superior  and 
Mississippi  Eailroad,  or  along  that  of  the  North- 
ern Pacific,  you  can  go  any  time  ;  but  men  having 
families  will  do  well  to  go  in  advance  and  select 
their  future  home,  and  make  some  preparations 
before  cutting  loose  from  the  old  one. 

"  Which  is  the  best  way  to  go  ? " 

You  will  find  either  of  the  great  trunk  rail- 
roads leading  westward  comfortable  routes,  and 
their  rates  of  fare  do  not  greatly  vary. 

198   .  THE  SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 

"  Do  you  think  that  the  State  will  have  a  rapid 
development  ?  " 

If  the  past  is  any  criterion  for  the  future,  its 
growth  will  be  unparalleled.  Twenty  years  only 
have  passed  since  it  was  organized  as  a  Territory. 
The  population  in  1850  was  5,330 ;  in  1860  it  was 
172,022  ;  in  1865,  by  the  State  census,  250,099. 
The  census  of  1870  will  give  more  than  half  a 
million.  The  tide  of  emigration  is  stronger  at  the 
present  time  than  it  ever  has  been  before,  and 
the  construction  of  the  various  railroads,  the  lib- 
eral policy  of  the  State,  its  munificent  school- 
fund,  the  richness  of  the  lands,  the  ibundance  of 
pure,  fresh  water,  the  delightful  climate,  the  situ- 
ation of  tlie  State  in  connection  with  the  trans- 
continental line  of  railway,  altogether  will  give 
Minnesota  rapid  advancemelit.  Of  the  North- 
west as  of  a  pumpkin-vine  during  the  hot  days 
and  warm  nights  of  midsummer,  we  may  say  that 
we  can  almost  see  it  grow !  Look  at  the  increase 
of  wealth  as  represented  by  real  and  personal  es- 
tates :  — 

1850        ....  $  806,437 

1855  .        .        .        .        .  10,424,157 

1860        ....  36,753,408 

1865 45,127,318 

1868        ....  75,795,366 

From  the  report  of  the  Assistant  Secretary  of 
State  made  to  the  Legislature  in  January,  1870, 
we  have  the  following  facts  :  — 


Total  tilled  acres, 1,G90,000 

Value  of  real  estate,     ....      $  120,000,000 

"       "   personal  property,     .         .         .  05,000,000 

"       "  live  stock,      ....  15,561,887 

"       "   agricultural  productions,    .         .  25,000,000 

"       "   annual  manufactures,    .         .  11,000,000 

Amount  of  school-fund,     ....  2,371,199 

Not  only  is  Minnesota  to  have  a  rapid  develop- 
ment, but  Dakota  as  well.  Civilization  is  advan- 
cing up  the  Missouri.  Emigrants  are  moving  on 
through  Yankton  and  taldng  possession  of  the 
rich  lands  of  that  section,  and  the  present  year 
will  see  the  more  northern  tide  pouring  into  the 
Red  Eiver  Valley,  which  Professor  Hind  called 
the  Paradise  of  the  Northwest. 

"  How  much  will  it  cost  me  to  reach  Minnesota, 
and  get  started  on  a  farm  ? " 

The  fare  from  Boston  to  St.  Paul  will  be  from 
$  35  to  $  40.  If  you  go  into  the  timbered  regions, 
you  will  have  lumber  enough  near  at  hand  to 
build  your  house,  and  it  will  take  a  great  many 
sturdy  strokes  to  get  rid  of  the  oaks  and  pines. 
If  you  go  upon  the  prairies,  you  will  have  to  ob- 
tain lumber  from  a  distance.  The  prices  at  Minne- 
apolis are  all  the  way  from  $  12  to  $45  per  thou- 
sand, according  to  quality.  Shingles  cost  from 
$3.50  to  S  4.50. 

Most  of  the  farmers  begin  with  a  very  small 
house,  containing  two  or  three  rooms.  They  do 
not  start  with  much  furniture.    We  who  are  ac- 

200  •  THE   SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 

customed  to  hot  and  cold  water,  bath-room,  and 
all  the  modern  conveniences  of  houses  in  the 
city,  might  think  it  rather  hard  at  lirst  to  use  a 
tin  wash-basin  on  a  bench  out-doors,  and  ladies 
might  find  it  rather  awkward  to  go  up  to  their 
chamber  on  a  ladder;  but  we  can  accommodate 
ourselves  to  almost  anything,  especially  when  we 
are  working  towards  independence.  Settlers  start 
with  small  houses,  for  a  good  deal  of  lumber  is 
required  for  fencing.  A  fence  around  forty  acres 
requires  1,700  rails,  550  posts,  and  a  keg  of  large 
nails.  The  farmers  do  not  dig  holes,  but  sharpen 
the  lower  ends  of  the  posts  and  drive  them  down 
with  a  beetle.  Two  men  by  this  process  will  fence 
in  forty  acres  in  a  very  short  time.  Such  fences 
are  for  temporary  use,  but  will  stand  for  several 
years,  —  till  the  settler  has  made  headway  enough 
to  replace  them  with  others  more  substantial. 
You  will  want  horses  and  oxen.  A  span  of  good 
farm  horses  will  cost  $  250  ;  a  yoke  of  good  oxen, 
$  125.     Cows  are  worth  from  $  20  to  $  50. 

Carpenters,  masons,  and  mechanics  command 
high  prices,  —  from  $2  to  $4.50  per  day.  Farm 
laborers  can  be  hired  for  $  20  to  $  25  per  month. 

"What  section  of  the  Northwest  is  advancing 
most  rapidly  ? " 

The  southern  half  of  Minnesota.  As  yet  there 
are  no  settlements  in  the  northern  counties.  Draw 
a  line  from  Duluth  to   Fort  Abercrombie,  and 

A  FAMILIAR  TALK.        '  201 

you  will  have  almost  tlie  entire  population  south 
of  that  line.  A  few  families  are  living  in  Otter- 
Tail  County,  north  of  that  line,  and  there  are  a 
few  more  in  the  Eed  Rive^  Valley. 

Two  years  hence  there  will  probably  be  many 
thousand  inhabitants  in  the  northern  counties ; 
the  fertility  of  the  Eed  Eiver  lands  and  the 
construction  of  two  railroads  cannot  fail  of  at- 
tracting settlers  in  that  direction.  There  is  far 
more  first  quality  of  agricultural  land  now  held 
by  government  in  the  northwestern  counties  than 
in  any  other  section  of  the  State.  The  land-office 
for  that  region  is  at  Alexandria  in  Douglas  County. 
The  vacant  land  subject  to  pre-emption  as  per 
share  in  the  eleven  counties  composing  the  dis- 
trict amounts  to  10,359,000  acres,  nearly  the  same 
area  as  Massachusetts  and  New  Hampshire  to- 
gether.    Take  a  glance  at  the  counties. 

Douglas.  —  Four  years  ago  it  did  not  contain  a 
single  inhabitant,  but  now  it  has  a  population 
of  about  5,000 !  The  county  has  an  area  of  twenty 
townships,  460,000  acres,  and  about  250,000  are 
still  held  by  government. 

Grant.  —  It  lies  west  of  Douglas.  We  passed 
through  it  on  our  way  to  the  Eed  Eiver.  The  main 
line  of  the  St.  Paul  and  Pacific  Eailroad  will  run 
through  the  southwestern  township  this  year. 
There  are  295,000  acres  still  vacant. 

Otter- Tail.  —  We  travelled  through  this  county 



on  our  return  from  Dakota,  and  were  serenaded  "by 
the  Germans  in  our  camp  on  the  bank  of  Eush 
Lake.  It  contains  1,288,000  acres,  of  which 
850,000  are  held  by  government.  This  county 
is  abundantly  supplied  with  timber,  —  pine  as 
well  as  oak,  and  other  of  the  hard  woods.  There 
are  numerous  lakes  and  ponds,  and  several  fine 
mill-sites.  The  soil  is  excellent.  The  lakes  abound 
with  whitefish.  In  1868  the  population  was  800. 
Now  it  may  be  set  down  at  2,000. 

Wilkin.  —  This  county  is  on  the  Eed  Eiver. 
It  was  once  called  Andy  Johnson,  but  now  bears 
the  name  of  Wilkin.  There  you  may  take  your 
choice  of  650,000  acres  of  fertile  lands.  You  can 
find  timber  on  the  streams,  or  you  may  float  it 
down  from  Otter-Tail.  The  St.  Paul  and  Pacific 
Eailroad  wiU  be  constructed  through  the  county 
during  the  year  1870. 

Clay.  —  North  of  Wilkin  on  the  Eed  Eiver  is 
Clay  County,  containing  650,000  acres  of  govern- 
ment land,  all  open  to  settlement.  The  Northern 
Pacific  Eailroad  wiU  probably  strike  the  Eed  Eiver 
somewhere  in  this  county.  The  distance  from 
Duluth  will  be  two  hundred  and  twenty-five  miles, 
and  the  settler  there  will  be  as  near  market  as  the 
people  of  central  Illinois  or  eastern  Iowa. 

Polk. — The  next  county  north  contains  2,480,000 
acres,  unsurpassed  for  fertility,  well  watered  by  the 
Eed,  the  Wild  Eice,  Marsh,  Sand  HilJ,  and  Eed 


Lake  Elvers.  The  county  is  half  as  large  as  !Mas- 
sachusetts,  and  is  as  capable  of  sustaining  a  dense 
population  as  the  kingdom  of  Belgium  or  the 
valley  of  the  Ganges.  The  southern  half  will  be 
accommodated  by  the  Northern  Pacific  Eailroad. 
Salt  springs  abound  on  the  Wild  Rice  River,  and 
the  State  has  reserved  23,000  acres  of  the  saline 

Pemhina. — The  northwestern  county  of  the  State 
contains  2,263,000  acres,  all  held  by  government, 

Becker.  —  This  county  lies  north  of  Otter-Tail. 
We  passed  through  it  on  our  way  from  the  Red 
River  to  the  head- waters  of  the  Buffalo.  (Descrip- 
tion, p.  113.)  It  is  a  region  surpassingly  beautiful. 
The  Northern  Pacific  Railroad  will  pass  through 
it,  and  there  you  may  find  435,000  acres  of  roll- 
ing prairie  and  timbered  hills.  Probal3ly  there 
are  not  fifty  settlers  in  the  county.  A  large  por- 
tion of  these  northwestern  counties  are  unsur- 
veyed,  but  that  will  not  debar  you  from  pre-empt- 
ing a  homestead. 

"How  about  the  southwestern  section  of  the 
State  ?  "  asked  my  visitor. 

I  cannot  speak  from,  personal  observation  be- 
yond Blue  Earth  County,  where  the  Minnesota 
River  crooks  its  elbow  and  turns  northeast ;  but 
from  what  I  have  learned  I  have  reason  to  believe 
that  the  lands  there  are  just  as  fertile  as  those 
already  settled  nearer  the  Mississippi,  and  they 


will  be  made  available  by  the  railroad  now  under 
construction  from  St.  Paul  to  Sioux  City. 

"  Can  a  man  with  five  hundred  dollars  make  a 
beginning  out  there  with  a  reasonable  prospect  of 
success  ? " 

Yes,  provided  he  has  good  pluck,  and  is  willing 
to  work  hard  and  to  wait.  If  he  can  command 
one  thousand  dollars,  he  can  do  a  great  deal  better 
than  he  can  with  half  that  sum. 

If  you  were  to  go  out  sixty  miles  beyond  St. 
Paul  to  Darsel,  on  the  St.  Paul  and  Pacific  Railroad 
you  would  see  a  farm  worked  by  seven  sisters. 
The  oldest  girl  is  about  twenty-five,  the  youngest 
fifteen.  They  lived  in  Ohio,  but  their  father  and 
mother  were  invalids,  and  for  their  benefit  came  to 
Minnesota  in  April,  1867,  and  secured  a  hundred 
and  sixty  acres  of  land  under  the  Homestead  Law. 
The  neighbors  turned  out  and  helped  them  build  a 
log-house,  and  the  girls  went  to  work  on  the  farm. 
Last  year  (1869)  they  had  f  n-ty  acres  under  culti- 
vation, and  sold  900  bvrshels  of  potatoes,  500  bush- 
els of  corn,  200  of  wheat,  250  of  turnips,  200  of 
beets,  besides  1,100  cabbage-heads,  and  about  two 
hundred  dollars'  worth  of  other  garden  products. 
They  hired  men  to  split  rails  for  fencing,  and  also 
to  plough  the  land ;  but  all  the  other  work  has 
been  done  by  the  girls,  who  are  hale  and  hearty, 
and  find  time  to  read  the  weekly  papers  and  maga- 
zines.    The  mother  of  these  girls  made  the  follow- 


ing  remark  to  a  gentleman  who  visited  the  farm : 
"The  girls  are  not  fond  of  the  hard  work  they 
have  had  to  do  to  get  the  farm  started,  but  they 
are  not  ashamed  of  it.  We  were  too  poor  to  keep 
together,  and  live  in  a  town.  AVe  could  not  make 
a  living  there,  but  here  we  have  become  comfort- 
able and  independent.  We  tried  to  give  tlie  girls 
a  good  education,  and  they  all  read  and  write,  and 
lind  a  little  spare  time  to  read  books  and  papers." 

These  plucky  girls  have  set  a  good  example  to 
young  men  who  want  to  get  on  in  the  world. 

Perhaps  I  am  too  enthusiastic  over  the  future 
prospects  of  the  region  between  Lake  Superior  and 
the  Pacific  but  having  travelled  through  Kansas, 
Nebraska,  Utah,  and  Nevada,  I  have  had  an 
opportunity  to  contrast  the  capabilities  of  the  two 
sections.  Kansas  has  magnificent  prairies,  and  so 
has  Nebraska,  but  there  are  no  sparkling  ponds,  no 
wood-fringed  lakes,  no  gurgling  brooks  abounding 
with  trout.  The  great  want  of  those  States  is 
water.  The  soil  is  exceedingly  fertile,  even  in 
Utah  and  Nevada,  though  white  with  powdered 
alkali,  but  they  are  valueless  for  want  of  moisture. 
In  marked  contrast  to  all  this  is  the  great  domain 
of  the  Northwest.  For  a  few  years  the  tide  of 
emigration  will  flow,  as  it  is  flowing  now,  into  the 
central  States  ;  but  when  the  lands  there  along  the 
rivers  and  streams  are  all  taken  up,  the  great  river 
of  human  life,  setting  towards  the  Pacific,  will  be 

206    ■  THE  SEAT  or  empire. 

turned  up  tlie  Missouri,  the  Assinniboine,  and  the 
Saskatchawan.  The  climate,  the  resources  of  the 
country,  the  capabilities  for  a  varied  industry,  and 
the  configuration  of  the  continent,  alike  indicate  it. 

I  am  not  sure  that  Mr.  Blotter  accepted  all  this, 
but  he  has  gone  to  Minnesota  with  his  wife,  turn- 
ing his  back  on  a  dry-goods  counting-house  to 
obtain  a  home  on  the  prairies. 




THE  statesman,  the  political  economist,  or  any 
man  who  wishes  to  cast  the  horoscope  of 
the  future  of  this  country,  must  take  into  con- 
•dderation  the  great  lakes,  and  their  connection 
witli  the  Mississippi,  the  Missouri,  and  the  Colum- 
bia Rivers,  and  those  portions  of  the  continent 
drained  by  these  water-ways. 

Communities  do  not  grow  by  chance,  but  by 
the  operation  of  physical  laws.  Position,  climate, 
mountains,  valleys,  rivers,  lakes,  arable  lands,  coal, 
wood,  iron,  silver,  and  gold  are  predestinating 
forces  in  a  nation's  history,  decreeing  occupation, 
character,  power,  and  influence. 

Lakes  and  navigable  streams  are  natural  high- 
ways for  trade  and  traffic ;  valleys  are  natural 
avenues ;  mountains  are  toll-gates  set  up  by  na- 
tui...  He  who  passes  over  them  must  pay  down 
in  sweat  and  labor. 

Humboldt  discussed  the  question  a  third  ^  a 
Cbiitury  ago.  "  The  natural  highways  of  nation^  " 
said  he,  "  will  usually  be  along  the  great  water- 

It  impressed  me  deeply,  as  long  ago  as  1846, 

208       .  THE  SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

when  the  present  enormous  railway  system  of  the 
continent  had  hardly  begun  to  be  developed. 
S^^reading  out  a  map  of  the  Western  Hemisphere,  I 
then  saw  that  from  Cape  Horn  to  Behring's  Strait 
there  was  only  one  river-system  that  could  be 
made  available  to  commerce  on  the  Pacific  coast. 
In  South  America  there  is  not  a  stream  as  large  as 
the  Merrimac  flowing  into  the  Pacific.  The  waves 
of  the  ocean  break  everywhere  against  the  rocky 
wall  of  the  Andes. 

In  North  America  the  Colorado  rises  on  the 
pinnacle  of  the  continent,  but  it  flows  through  a 
country  upheaved  by  volcanic  fires  during  the 
primeval  years.  Its  chasms  and  canons  are  the 
most  stupendous  on  the  globe.  The  course  of  the 
stream  is  southwest  to  the  Gulf  of  California,  out 
of  the  line  of  direction  for  commerce. 

The  only  other  great  stream  of  the  Pacific  coast 
is  the  Columbia,  whose  head-Avaters  are  in  a  line 
with  those  of  the  Missouri,  the  Mississippi,  the 
Ked  Eiver  of  the  North,  and  Lake  Superior. 

This  one  feature  of  the  physical  geography  of 
the  continent  was  sufficient  to  show  me  that  the 
most  feasible  route  for  a  great  continental  high- 
way between  the  Atlantic  and  the  Pacific  mu^t 
be  from  Lake  Superior  to  the  valley  of  the  Co- 

In  childhood  I  had  read  the  travels  of  Lewis  and 
Clark  over  and  over  again,  till  I  could  almost  re- 


peat  the  entire  volume,  and,  remembering  their 
glowing  accounts  of  the  country,  —  the  fertility  of 
the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone,  ""he  easy  passage 
from  tlie  Jefferson  fork  of  the  Missouri  to  the 
Columbia,  and  tlie  mildness  of  the  winters  on  the 
Western  slope,  the  conviction  was  deepened  that 
the  best  route  for  a  railway  from  the  lakes  to  the 
Pacific  would  be  through  one  of  the  passes  of  the 
Eocky  Mountains  at  the  head-waters  of  the  Mis- 

Doubtless,  many  others  observant  of  the  physi- 
cal geography  of  the  continent  had  arrived  at  the 
same  natural  conclusion.  Seven  years  later  tlie 
government  surveys  were  made  along  several  of 
the  parallels,  that  from  Lake  Superior  to  the  Co- 
lumbia being  under  the  direction  of  Governor  I.  I. 
Stevens.  Jeff'  Davis  was  then  Secretary  of  War, 
and  his  report  set  forth  the  northern  route  as 
being  virtually  impracticable.  It  was,  according 
to  his  representation,  incapable  of  sustaining  popu- 
lation. A  careful  study  of  Governor  Stevens's 
Eeport,  and  a  comparison  with  the  reports  along 
tlie  more  southern  lines,  showed  that  the  Secretary 
of  War  had  deliberately  falsified  the  statements 
of  Governor  Stevens  and  his  assistants.  While 
the  surveys  were  being  made,  Mr.  Edwin  F.  John- 
son, of  Middletown,  Conn.,  the  present  chief  engi- 
neer of  the  Pacific  Railroad,  published  a  pamphlet 
which  set  forth  in  a  clear  and  forcible  manner 


the  natural  advantages  of  the  route  hy  the  !Mis- 

In  1856  the  British  govern ment  sent  out  an 
exploring  expedition  under  Captain  Palliser,  whose 
report  upon  the  attractions  of  British  America, 
the  richness  of  the  soil,  tlie  ease  with  which  a 
road  could  be  constructed  to  the  Pacific  through 
British  territory,  created  great  interest  in  Parlia- 

"  The  accomplishment  of  such  a  scheme,"  said 
Mr.  Eoebuck,  "would  unite  England  with  Van- 
couver Island  and  with  China,  and  they  would  be 
enabled  widely  to  extend  the  civilization  of  Eng- 
land, and  he  would  boldly  assert  that  the  civiliza- 
tion of  England  was  greater  than  that  of  America." 

"  Already,"  said  the  Colonial  Secretary,  Lord 
Lytton,  better  known  to  American  readers  as  Bul- 
wer,  "  in  the  large  territory  which  extends  west  of 
the  Eocky  Mountains,  from  the  American  frontier 
and  up  to  the  skirts  of  the  Kussian  dominions, 
we  are  laying  the  foundations  of  what  may  become 
hereafter  a  magnificent  abode  of  the  human  race." 

There  was  a  tone  about  these  speeches  that 
stirred  my  blood,  and  I  prepared  a  pamphlet  for 
circulation  entitled  "  The  Great  Commercial  Prize," 
which  was  published  in  1858.  It  was  a  plea  for 
the  immediate  construction  of  a  railway  up  the 
valley  of  the  Missouri,  and  down  the  Columbia  to 
Puget  Sound,  over  the  natural  highway,  giving 


facts  and  figures  in  regard  to  its  feasibility ;  but  T 
was  laughed  at  for  my  pains,  and  set  down  as  a 
visionary  by  tlie  press. 

It  is  gratifying  to  have  our  good  dreams  come 
to  pass.  That  which  was  a  dream  of  mine  in  r^46 
is  in  process  of  fulfilment  in  1870.  The  disco\ery 
of  gold  in  California  and  the  building  up  of  a 
great  city  demanded  the  construction  of  a  railroad 
to  San  Francisco,  which  was  chartered  in  1862,  and 
which  has  been  constructed  with  unparalleled  ra- 
pidity, and  is  of  incalculable  service  to  the  nation. 

The  charter  of  the  Northern  Pacific  was  granted 
in  1864,  and  approved  by  President  Lincoln  on  the 
2d  of  July  of  that  year.  Government  granted 
no  subsidy  of  bonds,  Imt  gave  ten  alternate  sec- 
tions per  mile  'on  each  "ide  of  the  road  in  the 
States  and  twenty  on  each  side  of  the  line  in  the 
Territories  through  which  it  might  pass. 

Though  the  franchise  was  accompanied  by  this 
liberal  land-grant,  it  has  been  found  impossible  to 
undertake  a.  work  of  such  magnitude  till  the  pres- 
ent time.  Nearly  every  individual  named  as  cor- 
porators in  the  charter,  with  the  exception  of  Gov- 
ernor J.  G.  Smith,  its  present  President,  Judge 
E.  D.  Eice,  the  Vice-President,  and  a  few  others, 
abandoned  it  under  the  many  difficulties  and  dis- 
couragements that  beset  the  enterprise.  The  few 
gentlemen  who  held  on  studied  the  geograpliy  of 
the  country,  and  their  faith  in  the  future  of  the 

212     .  THE  SEAT   OF  EiMPIRE. 

Northwest  was  strengthened.  A  year  ago  they  were 
fortunate  enough  to  find  other  men  as  enthusiastic 
as  themselves  over  the  resources  and  capabilities  of 
the  region  between  Lake  Superior  and  the  Pacific, 
• — Messrs.  Jay  Cooke  &  Co.,  the  well-known  bank- 
ers of  Philadelphia,  whose  names  are  indissolubly 
connected  with  the  history  of  the  country  as  its 
successful  financial  agents  at  a  time  when  the 
needs  of  the  nation  were  greatest ;  Messrs.  Edgar 
Thompson  and  Thomas  A.  Scott,  of  the  Pennsyl- 
vania Central  Eailroad ;  Mr.  G.  W.  Cass,  of  the 
Pittsburg  and  Fort  Wayne ;  Mr.  B.  P.  Cheney,  of 
Wells,  Fargo,  &  Co. ;  Mr.  William  B.  Ogden,  of  the 
Chicago  and  Northwestern  lload ;  Mr.  Stinson,  of 
Chicago ;  and  other  gentlemen,  most  of  whom  are 
practical  railroad  men  of  large  experience  and  far- 
reaching  views. 

Mr,  Cooke  became  the  financial  agent  of  the 
company,  and  from  that  hour  the  advancement  of 
the  enterprise  may  be  dated.  Tt  required  but  a 
few  days  to  raise  a  subscription  of  $5,600,000 
among  the  capitalists  of  the  country  to  insure  the 
building  of  the  road  from  Lake  Superior  to  the  Eed 
River,  to  which  place  it  is  now  under  construction. 
The  year  1871  will  probably  see  it  constructed  to 
the  Missouri  River,  thus  opening  easy  communi- 
cation with  Montana.  The  gentlemen  who  have 
taken  hold  of  the  work  contemplate  its  completion 
to  the  Pacific  in  three  years. 


The  line  laid  down  upon  tlie  accompanying  map 
only  indicates  the  general  direction  of  the  road. 
It  is  the  intention  of  the  company  to  find  the  best 
route  across  the  continent, —  direct  in  course,  with 
easy  grades,  —  and  this  can  only  be  ascertained 
by  a  thorough  exploration  of  the  valley  of  the 
Yellowstone,  the  passes  at  the  head-waters  of  the 
Missouri,  the  valley  of  the  Columbia,  and  the 
shores  and  harbors  of  Puget  Sound. 

The  engineers  are  setting  their  stakes  from  Lake 
Superior  to  the  Red  River,  and  laborers  with  spade 
and  shovel  are  following  them.  Imagination 
bounds  onward  over  the  prairies,  across  the  moun- 
tains, down  the  valley  of  the  Columbia,  and  be- 
holds the  last  rail  laid,  the  last  spike  driven,  and 
a  new  highway  completed  across  the  continent. 

I  think  of  myself  as  being  upon  the  locomotive, 
for  a  run  from  the  lakes  to  the  western  ocean. 

Our  starting-point  on  the  lake  is  600  feet  above 
the  sea.  We  gain  the  height  of  land  between  the 
lake  and  the  Mississippi  by  a  gentle  ascent.  Tliir- 
ty-one  miles  out  from  Duluth  we  find  the  waters 
trickling  westward  to  the  Mississippi.  There  we 
are  558  feet  above  Lake  Superior.  It  is  almost 
a  dead  level,  as  the  engineers  say,  from  that  point 
to  the  Mississippi,  which  is  552  feet  above  the 
lake  at  Crow  Wing,  or  1,152  feet  above  tide-water. 
The  distance  between  the  lake  and  Crow  Wing  i^ 
about  a  hundred  miles,  and  the  country  is  so  level 

214  ■  THE   SEAT   OF  EMPIRE. 

that  it  would  be  an  easy  matter  to  dig  a  canal  and 
turn  the  Mississippi  above  Crow  Wing  eastward 
into  the  waters  that  reacli  the  sea  through  the  St. 

The  Leaf  Hills  are  267  feet  higher  than  the 
Mississippi,  and  the  ascent  is  only  seven  feet  to 
the  mile,  —  so  slight  that  the  engineers  on  the 
locomotive  reckon  it  as  level  grade.  These  hills 
form  the  divide  between  the  Mississij^pi  and  the 
Ked  Eiver.  Straight  on,  over  the  level  valley  of 
the  Eed  River,  westward  to  tlie  summit  of  tlie 
rolling  prairies  between  the  Red  River  and  the 
Missouri,  the  locomotive  speeds  its  way.  Gradu- 
ally we  rise  till  we  are  2,400  feet  above  tide- 
water, —  the  same  elevation  that  is  reached  on 
the  Union  Pacific  250  miles  west  of  Omaha. 

A  descent  of  400  feet  canies  us  to  the  Missouri. 
We  wind  up  its  fertile  valley  to  the  richer  bot- 
tom-lands of  the  Yellowstone,  over  a  route  so  level 
tliat  at  the  mouth  of  the  Big  Horn  we  are  only 
2,500  feet  above  tide-water.  The  Yellowstone 
flows  with  a  swifter  current  above  the  Big  Horn. 
We  are  approaching  the  mountains,  and  must  pass 
the  ridge  of  land  that  separates  the  Yellowstone 
from  the  upper  waters  of  the  Missouri.  It  lies 
950  miles  west  of  Lake  Superior,  and  the  summit 
is  4,500  feet  above  the  sea.  Through  the  entire 
distance,  thus  far,  there  have  been  no  grades  great- 
er than  those  of  the  Illinois  Central  and  other 


prairie  railroads  of  the  "West.  Crossing  tlie  Mis- 
souri we  are  at  tlie  back-l)one  of  the  continent, 
depressed  here  like  the  vertebra  of  a  hollow- 
hacked  horse.  We  may  glide  tlirongh  tlie  Deer 
Lodge  Pass  by  a  grade  of  fifty  feet,  at  an  altitude 
of  only  5,000  feet  above  tide- water. 

Mr.  Milnor  Itoberts,  civil  engineer,  approached 
it  from  the  west,  and  this  is  his  description  of 
the  Pass :  — 

"  Considered  as  a  railroad  route,  this  valley  is  re- 
markably favorable,  the  rise  froni  Deer  Lodge  City 
to  the  pass  or  divide  between  the  waters  of  the 
Pacific  and  Atlantic  being  quite  gentle,  and  even 
on  the  last  few  miles,  the  summit,  about  5,000 
feet  above  the  sea,  may  be  attained  without  em- 
ploying a  gradient  exceeding  fifty  feet  to  the  mile, 
with  a  moderate  cut.  The  whole  forty  miles  from 
Deer  Lodge  City  to  the  summit  of  the  Pocky 
]\Iountains  by  this  route  can  be  l:)uilt  as  cheaply  as 
roads  are  built  through  prairie  countries  generally. 
A  little  more  work  will  be  required  in  passing  to 
the  east  side  from  this  side,  down  Divide  Creek  to 
Wisdom  or  Big  Hole  Piver ;  but  the  line  Mill  be 
liighly  favorable  on  an  average  all  tlie  w.'iy  to  the 
Jefferson  Fork  of  the  Missouri  Piver.  This  favor- 
able pass  comes  into  connection  more  particularly 
with  the  Yellowstone  Valley  route  to  the  main 
Alissouri  Valley.  A  remarkable  circumstance  con- 
nected with  this  pass  will  convey  a  very  clear  view 


of  its  peculiarly  favorable  character.  Private  par- 
ties engaged  in  gold  mining,  in  tlie  gold-fields  which 
exist  abundantly  on  both  sides  of  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  have  dug  a  ditch  across  this  summit 
which  is  only  eighteen  feet  deep  at  the  apex  of  the 
divide,  through  which  they  carry  the  waters  of 
*  Divide  Creek,'  a  tributary  of  the  IVIissouri,  across 
to  the  Pacific  side,  where  it  is  used  in  gold- 
washing,  and  the  waste  water  passes  into  the 
Pacific  Ocean.  This  has  been  justly  termed  high- 
way robbery." 

There  are  half  a  dozen  passes  nearly  as  low,  — 
Mullan's,  Blackfoot,  Lewis  and  Clark's,  Cadotte's, 
and  the  Marias. 

Going  through  the  Deer  Lodge  Pass,  we  find 
that  the  stream  changes  its  name  very  often  be- 
fore reaching  the  Pacific.  The  little  brook  on  the 
summit  of  the  divide,  turbid  with  the  washings  of 
the  gold-mines,  is  called  the  Deer  Lodge  Creek. 
Twenty-five  miles  farther  on  it  is  joined  by  a 
small  stream  that  trickles  from  the  summit  of 
Mullan's  Pass,  near  Helena,  and  the  two  form  the 
Hell  Gate,  just  as  the  Pemigewasset  and  Winni- 
pesaukee  form  the  Merrimac  in  New  Hampshire, 
receiving  its  name  from  the  many  Indian  fights 
that  have  taken  place  in  its  valley,  where  the 
Blackfeet  and  Nez  Perces  have  had  many  a  battle. 
The  stream  bears  the  name  of  Hell  Gate  for  about 
eighty  miles  before  being  joined  by  the  Blackfoot, 


■which  flows  from  the  mountains  in  the  vicinity  of 
Cadotte's  and  Lewis  and  Clark's  Passes. 

A  little  below  the  junction  it  empties  into  the 
Bitter  Root,  which,  after  a  winding  course  of  a 
hundred  miles,  is  joined  by  the  Flathead,  that 
comes  down  from  Mathead  Lake  and  the  country 
around  Marias  Pass.  The  united  streams  below 
the  junction  take  the  name  of  Clark's  Iliver,  wliich 
has  a  circuitous  course  northward,  running  for  a 
little  distance  into  British  America,  then  l)ack 
again  through  a  wide  plain  till  joined  by  the 
Snake,  and  the  two  become  the  Columl^ia,  pouring 
a  mighty  flood  westward  to  the  ocean.  The  line 
of  the  road  does  not  follow  the  river  to  the  boun- 
dary between  the  United  States  and  the  British 
Possessions,  but  strikes  across  the  plain  of  the 

The  characteristics  of  Clark's  River  and  the 
surrounding  country  are  thus  described  by  Mr. 
Roberts :  — 

"  Clark's  River  has  a  flow  in  low  water  at  least 
six  times  greater  than  the  low-water  flow  of  the 
Ohio  River  between  Pittsburg  and  Wheeling ;  and 
while  its  fall  is  slight,  considered  with  reference 
to  railroad  grades,  it  is  so  considerable  as  to  afford 
a  great  number  of  water-powers,  whose  future 
value  must  be  very  great,  —  an  average  of  eleven 
feet  per  mile. 

"  Around  Lake  Pend  d'Oreille,  and  for  some  miles 



westward,  and  all  along  Clark's  Eiver  above  the 
lake  as  far  as  we  traversed  it,  there  is  a  mag- 
nificent region  of  pine,  cypress,  hemlock,  tama- 
rack, and  cedar  timber,  many  of  the  trees  of  prodi- 
gious size.  I  measured  one  which  was  thirty-four 
feet  in  circumference,  and  a  number  that  were 
over  twenty-seven  feet,  and  saw  liundreds,  as  we 
passed  along,  that  were  from  twenty  to  twenty-five 
feet  in  circumference,  and  from  two  liundrcd  to 
two  hundred  and  fifty  feet  high.  A  number  of 
valleys  containing  large  l)odies  of  this  character  of 
timber  enter  Clark's  River  from  both  sides,  and 
the  soil  of  these  valleys  is  very  rich.  Clark's 
Eiver  Valley  itself  is  for  much  of  the  distance 
confined  by  very  high  hills  approaching  near  to 
the  stream  in  many  jjlaces ;  but  there  are  suffi- 
cient sites  for  cities  and  farms  adjacent  to  water- 
powers  of  the  first  class,  and  not  many  years  can 
elapse  after  the  opening  of  a  railroad  through  this 
valley  till  it  will  exhibit  a  combination  of  in- 
dustries and  population  analogous  to  those  which 
now  mark  the  Lehigh,  the  Schuylkill,  the  Sus- 
quehanna, and  the  Pomroy  region  of  the  Ohio 
River.  Passing  along  its  quiet  scenes  of  to- 
day, we  can  see  in  the  near  future  the  vast 
change  which  the  enterprise  of  man  will  bring. 
That  which  was  once  the  work  of  half  a  century 
is  now  the  product  of  three  or  four  years.  Indeed, 
in  a  single  year  after  the  route  of  this  Northern 


Pacific  Railroad  shall  have  l)een  determined,  and 
tlie  work  fairly  begun,  all  this  region,  now  so  calm 
and  imdisturbed,  will  be  teeming  with  life  instilled 
into  it  by  hardy  pioneers  from  the  Atlantic  and 
from  the  Pacific. 

"  Passing  along  the  Flathead  River  for  a  short 
distance;  we  entered  the  valley  of  the  Jocko  River. 
The  same  general  remarks  concerning  Clark's 
River  Valley  are  applicable  to  the  Flathead  and 
Bitter  Root  Valleys.  •  The  climate,  the  valleys,  the 
timber,  the  soil,  the  water-powers,  all  are  here, 
awaiting  only  the  presence  of  the  industrious 
white  man  to  render  to  mankind  the  benefits  im- 
planted in  them  by  a  beneficent  Creator." 

The  entire  distance  from  Lake  Superior  by  the 
Yellowstone  Valley  to  the  tide-waters  of  the 
Pacific  below  the  cascades  of  the  Columbia  will 
be  about  eighteen  hundred  miles.  It  is  nearly 
the  same  distance  to  Seattle,  on  Puget  Soimd,  by 
the  Snoqualmie  Pass  of  the  Cascade  Range. 

The  Union  Pacific  line  has  had  no  serious  ob- 
struction from  snow  since  its  completion.  It  has 
suffered  no  more  than  other  roads  of  the  country, 
and  its  trains  have  arrived  as  regularly  at  Omaha  ♦ 
and  Sacramento  as  the  trains  of  the  New  York 
Central  at  Buffalo  or  Albany.  That  the  Northern 
Pacific  road  will  be  quite  as  free  from  snow-block- 
ades will  be  manifest  by  a  perusal  of  the  following 
paragraphs  from  the  report  of  Mr.  Roberts  :  — 

220  THE  SEAT  OF  EMrillE. 

"  There  is  cviflence  enough  to  show  that  the  lino 
of  road  on  the  general  route  lierein  described  will, 
in  ordinary  winters,  he  much  less  encumbered  with 
snow  wliere  it  crosses  the  mountains  than  are  the 
passes  at  more  soutlierly  points,  wliicli  are  mucli 
more  elevated  above  the  sea.  The  difference  of 
five  or  six  degrees  of  latitude  is  more  tlian  com- 
pensated l)y  the  reduced  elevation  above  the  sea- 
level,  and  the  climatic  effect  of  the  warm  ocean- 
currents  from  the  equator,  already  referred  to, 
ameliorating  the  seasons  from  the  Pacific  to  the 
Eocky  ^fountains.  An  examination  of  tlie  ])rofile 
of  the  Union  Pacific  and  Central  Pacific  lines 
between  Onialia,  on  the  Missouri  Eiver,  and  Sacra- 
mento, California,  a  distance  of  1,775  miles,  shows 
that  there  are  four  main  summits,  —  Sherman 
Summit,  on  the  Pdack  Hills,  about  550  miles 
from  Omaha,  8,235  feet  above  the  sea  ;  one  on  the 
Rocky  Mountains,  at  Aspen  Summit,  about  935 
miles  from  Omaha,  7,463  feet ;  one  at  Humboldt 
Mountain,  about  1,245  miles  from  Omaha,  6,076 
feet ;  and  another  on  the  Sierra  Nevada,  only 
105  miles  from  the  western  terminus  at  Sacra- 
mento, 7,062  feet ;  whilst  from  a  point  west  of 
Cheyenne,  520  miles  from  Omaha,  to  Wasatch, 
970  miles  from  Omaha,  a  continuous  length  of 
450  miles,  every  portion  of  the  graded  road  is 
more  than  6,000  feet  above  the  sea,  being  about 
1,000  feet  on  this  long  distance  higher  than  tlie 


liighest  suinniit  grado  on  the  Northern  Pacific 
liailroad  route ;  whilst  for  the  corresponding  dis- 
tance on  the  Northern  Pacific  line  the  average 
elevation  is  under  13,000  feet,  or  three  thousand 
feet  lower  than  the  Sherman  Summit  on  the  Pa- 
cific line. 

"  On  the  Union  Pacific  road  the  profile  also 
shows  that  for  900  continuous  miles,  from  Sidney 
westward,  the  road  has  an  average  height  of  over 
5,000  feet,  and  the  lowest  spot  on  that  distance 
is  more  than  4,000  feet  above  the  sea,  whereas  on 
the  Northern  route  only  about  sixty  miles  at  most 
are  as  high  as  4,000  feet,  and  the  corresponding 
distance  of  900  miles,  extending  from  the  mouth 
of  the  Yellowstone  to  the  valley  of  Clark's  Kiver, 
is,  on  an  average,  about  3,000  feet  lower  than 
the  Union  Pacific  line.  Allowing  that  1,000  feet 
of  elevation  causes  a  decrease  of  temperature  of 
three  degrees,  this  would  be  a  difference  of  nine 
degrees.  There  is,  therefore,  a  substantial  reason 
for  the  circumstance,  now  well  authenticated,  that 
the  snows  on  the  Northern  route  are  much  less 
troublesome  than  they  are  on  the  Union  Pacific 
and  Central  Pacific  routes  "  (Report,  p.  43). 

That  the  Northern  Pacific  can  be  economically 
worked  is  demonstrated  by  a  comparison  of  its 
grades  with  those  of  the  line  abeady  constructed. 
The  comparison  is  thus  presented  by  Mr.  Eob- 
erts :  — 


"The  grades  on  the  route  across  through  the 
State  of  Minnesota  and  Territory  of  Dakota  to 
the  Missouri  Eiver  will  not  be  materially  dissimilar 
to  those  on  the  other  finished  railroads  south  of  it, 
passing  from  Chicago  to  Sioux  City,  Council  Bluffs, 
etc. ;  namely,  undulating  within  the  general  limit 
of  about  forty  feet  per  mile,  although  it  may  be 
deemed  advisable,  at  a  feAV  points  for  short  distan- 
ces, to  run  to  a  maximum  of  one  foot  per  hundred 
or  fifty-three  feet  per  mile.  There  is  sufficient 
knowledge  of  this  portion  of  the  route  to  warrant 
this  assumption.  And  beyond  the  Missouri,  along 
the  valley  of  the  Yellowstone,  to  near  the  Bozeman 
Pass,  there  is  no  known  reason  for  assuming  any 
higher  limits.  In  passing  Bozeman  Summit  of 
the  Belt  Eange,  and  in  going  up  the  eastern  side 
of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  it  may  be  found  advisable 
to  adopt  a  somewhat  higher  gradient  for  a  few 
miles  in  overcoming  those  summits.  This,  how- 
ever, can  only  be  finally  determined  after  careful 

The  highest  ground  encountered  between  Lake 
Superior  and  the  Missouri  Elver,  at  the  mouth  of 
the  Yellowstone,  is  only  2,300  feet  above  the  sea ; 
the  low  summit  of  the  Eocky  Mountains  is  but 
little  over  5,000  feet,  and  the  Bozeman  Pass, 
through  the  Belt  Eange,  is  assumed  to  be  about  500 
feet  lower.  The  height  of  the  country  upon  which 
the  line  is  traced,  and  upon  which  my  estimate  of 


cost  is  based,  may  be  approximately  stated  thus, 
beginning  at  Lake  Superior,  going  westward :  — 


To  Dakota  Valley,      . 

.     300 

Yellowstone  River, 


Along  Yellowstone,    . 

.     400 

Flathead  Valley,     . 


Lewis  or  Snake  River, 

.     200 

Puget  Sound,          . 


Average  1 
above  th 

e  sea. 

1,200  feet. 







Compare  this  with  the  profiles  of  the  finished 
line  of  the  Union  and  Central  Pacific  roads.  Prop- 
erly, the  comparison  should  be  made  from  Chicago, 
the  eastern  water  terminus  of  Lake  Michigan,  of 
the  Omaha  line.  Tliere  are,  on  that  route,  approxi- 
mately, as  folio  ,7S :  — 


From  Chicago  to  Omaha, 

.     500 

Near  Cheyenne, 


Cooper's,     . 

.     100 

Promontory  Point, . 



.    406 

Reno,      .... 




Sacramento,    . 


San  Francisco,    . 

.     100 

Chicago  to  San  Francisco 


Average  height 
above  the  sea. 

1,000  feet 









"  On  the  Northern  Pacific  line  there  need  be  but 
two  principal  summits,  whilst  on  the  other  there 
are  four,  the  lowest  of  which  is  about  a  thousand 


feet  higher  than  the  highest  on  the  northern  route. 
If,  therefore,  the  roads  were  the  same  length  be- 
tween the  Pacific  waters  and  the  ofreat  lakes  and 
navigable  rivers  east  of  the  Rocky  Mountains,  the 
advantage  would  be  largely  in  favor  of  the  North- 
ern route ;  but  this  actual  distance  is  three  hundred 
and  seventy-five  miles  less,  and  the  equated  dis- 
tance for  ascents  and  descents  in  its  favor  will  be 
very  considerable  "  (Report,  p.  45). 

From  the  explorations  and  surveys  already  made 
by  the  engineers,  it  is  believed  that  there  need  be 
no  gradient  exceeding  sixty  feet  per  mile  between 
Lake  Superior  and  the  Pacific  Ocean.  If  such  be 
the  fact,  it  will  enable  the  company  to  transport 
freight  much  more  cheaply  than  the  central  line 
can  carry  it,  where  the  grades  are  one  hundred  and 
sixteen  feet  to  the  mile,  over  the  Sierra  Nevada 
Range.  To  those  who  never  have  had  time  to  ex- 
amine the  subject,  the  following  tabular  statement 
in  regard  to  the  power  of  a  thirty-ton  engine  on 
different  grades  will  be  interesting.  An  engine 
w^eighing  thirty  tons  will  draw  loaded  cars  on  dif- 
ferent grades  as  follows :  — 

On  a  level 


•           •           • 

94  cars 

10  feet 


mile  ascending 

.    56    " 

20    " 



40    " 

30    " 


•                • 

.     30i" 

40    " 



25    " 

60    " 


•                • 

.     20^'' 

60    " 



17    " 


70  feet 


mile  ascending 

.    15  cars. 

80    " 

•           • 

13    " 

90    " 

•          • 

.     11^'^ 

100    " 

•          • 

10    " 

110    " 

((                  u 

•                • 

.      8i" 

120    " 

•                • 

6    " 

A  full  car-load  is  reckoned  at  seven  tons.  It 
has  been  found  in  the  operation  of  railroads  that 
an  engine  which  will  move  one  hundred  and  sev- 
enteen tons  on  a  grade  sixty  feet  per  mile  will 
move  only  about  fifty  tons  on  a  grade  of  one  hun- 
dred and  sixteen  feet.  A  second  glance  at  the 
diagram  (p.  48)  shows  us  that  the  sum  of  ascents 
and  descents  on  the  line  already  constructed  must 
be  vastly  greater  than  that  now  under  construc- 
tion ;  and  inasmuch  as  it  is  impossible  to  carry  a 
load  up  or  down  hill  without  costing  something, 
it  follows  that  this  road  can  be  operated  more 
economically  than  a  line  crossing  four  mountain- 
ranges,  and  the  ultimate  result  will  be  a  cheapen- 
ing of  transportation  across  the  continent,  and  a 
great  development  of  the  Asiatic  trade. 

Throucjhout  the  entire  distance  between  Lake 
Superior  and  the  Pacific  Ocean  along  the  line,  the 
husbandman  may  turn  the  sod  with  his  plough, 
the  herdsman  fatten  his  flocks,  the  lumberman  reap 
the  harvest  of  the  forests,  or  the  miner  gather 
golden  ore. 

A  Bureau  of  Emigration  is  to  be  established  by 

10*  o 


the  company,  which  will  be  of  invaluable  service 
to  the  emigrant. 

Many  persons  in  the  Eastern  and  Middle  States 
are  depirous  of  moving  to  the  Northwest,  but  it  is 
hard  to  cut  loose  from  old  associations,  to  leave 
home  and  friends  and  strike  out  alone  upon  the 
prairie ;  they  want  company.  The  human  race  is 
gregarious.  There  are  not  many  who  care  to  be 
hermits,  and  most  of  us  prefer  society  to  solitude. 

This  feature  of  human  nature  is  to  be  kept  in 
view,  and  it  will  be  the  aim  of  the  Bureau  of  Emi- 
gration to  offer  every  facility  to  those  seeking  new 
homes  to  take  their  friends  with  them. 

Upon  the  completion  of  every  twenty-five  miles 
of  road,  the  company  will  be  put  in  possession  of 
forty  sections  of  land  per  mile.  The  government 
will  hold  the  even-numbered  sections,  and  the 
company  those  bearing  the  odd  numbers. 

The  land  will  be  surveyed,  plotted,  and  the  dis- 
tinctive features  of  each  section  described.  Emi- 
gration offices  are  to  be  established  in  our  own 
country  as  well  as  abroad,  where  maps,  plans,  and 
specifications  will  be  found. 

One  great  drawback  to  the  settlement  of  the 
prairie  lands  of  Illinois  and  Iowa  has  been  the 
want  of  timber  for  the  construction  of  houses. 
Persons  with  limited  means,  having  only  their  own 
hands,  found  it  hard  to  get  started  on  a  treeless 
prairie.    Their  first  work  is  to  obtain  a  house.    The 


Bureau  propose  to  help  the  man  who  is  anxious  to 
help  himself  on  in  the  world,  by  putting  up  a  port- 
able house  for  him  on  the  land  that  he  may  select. 
The  houses  will  be  small,  but  they  will  serve  till 
the  settler  can  get  his  farm  fenced  in,  his  ground 
ploughed,  and  two  or  three  crops  of  wheat  to  mar- 
ket. The  abundance  of  timber  in  Minnesota  will 
enable  the  company  to  carry  out  this  new  feature 
of  emigration. 

It  will  be  an  easy  matter  for  a  family  from 
Lowell,  another  from  ^lethuen,  a  third  from  Ando- 
ver,  a  fourth  from  Heading,  a  fifth  from  Haverhill, 
to  select  their  land  in  a  body  and  start  a  Massa- 
chusetts colony  in  the  Seat  of  Empire. 

Far  better  this  method  than  for  each  family  to 
go  out  by  itself.  Going  as  a  colony  they  will  car- 
ry the  moral  atmosphere  of  their  old  homes  with 
them.  They  will  have  a  school  in  operation  the 
week  after  their  arrival.  And  on  Sabbath  morn- 
ing, swelling  upward  on  the  summer  air,  sweeter 
than  the  lay  of  lark  amid  the  flowers,  will  ascend 
the  songs  of  the  Sunday  school  established  in 
their  new  home.  Looking  forward  with  ardent 
hope  to  prosperous  years,  they  will  still  look  be- 
yond the  earthly  to  the  heavenly,  and  sing,  — 

'•  My  heavenly  home  is  bright  and  fair, 
Nor  pain  nor  death  shall  enter  tliere." 

This  is  no  fancy  sketch ;  it  is  but  a  description 
of  what  has  been  done  over  and  over  a<>ain  in 

228  •  THE   SEAT  OF  EMPIRE. 

Oil  10,  Indiana,  Illinois,  Iowa,  and  all  the  Western 
States.  The  Northern  Pacific  Eailroad  Company 
want  their  lands  settled  by  an  industrious,  thrifty, 
energetic  people,  who  prize  everything  that  goes 
to  make  up  the  highest  grade  of  civilization,  and 
they  are  ready  to  render  such  help  as  no  colonies 
have  yet  had. 

The  land  will  be  sold  to  actual  settlers  at  low 
rate&,  and  on  liberal  terms  of  payment.  Tlie 
portable  houses  will  be  sold  at  cost,  transported 
on  the  cars,  and  set  up  for  the  colonists  if  they 
desire  it. 

The  Bureau  will  be  put  in  operation  as  soon  as 
it  can  be  systematically  organized,  and  I  doubt  not 
that  thousands  will  avail  themselves  of  its  advan- 
tages to  establish  their  future  homes  near  a  rail- 
road which  will  give  the  shortest  line  across  the 
continent,  marked  by  low  gradients,  running 
through  the  lowest  passes  of  the  Eocky  Moun- 
tains, through  a  country  capable  of  cultivation  all 
the  way  from  the  lakes  to  the  Pacific. 

Am  I  dreaming  ? 

Across  this  belt  of  land  between  Lake  Superior 
and  the  Pacific  lies  the  world's  great  future  high- 
way. The  physical  features  of  this  portion  of  the 
continent  are  favorable  for  the  development  of 
every  element  of  a  high  civilization. 

Take  one  more  look  at  the  map,  and  observe  the 
situation  of  the  St.  Lawrence  and  the  lakes,  fur- 


nisliing  water-carriage  for  freight  half-way  from 
ocean  to  ocean,  —  the  prairies  extending  to  the 
base  of  the  Eocky  Mountains,  —  the  one  summit 
to  be  crossed,  —  the  bays,  inlets,  and  harbors  of 
the  Pacific  shore  laved  by  ocean  currents  and 
warmed  by  winds  wafted  from  the  equator  to  the 
Arctic  Sea.  Observe  also  the  shortest  lines  of 

The  geographical  position  is  in  the  main  axial 
line  of  the  world's  grand  commercial  movement. 
San  Francisco  and  Puget  Sound  are  the  two  west- 
ern gateways  of  the  continent.  Eapid  as  has 
been  the  advancement  of  civilization  around  the 
Golden  Gate,  magnificent  as  its  future  may  be,  yet 
equally  grand  and  majestic  will  be  the  nortlieru 
portal  of  the  great  Eepublic.  Not  only  will  it  be 
on  the  shortest  possible  route  between  England 
and  Asia,  but  it  will  be  in  the  direct  line  between 
England  and  the  Asiatic  dominions  of  Eussia. 

Wliile  we  are  building  our  railroads  westward 
from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific,  the  Emperor  of 
Eussia  is  extending  his  from  the  Ural  Mountains 
eastward,  down  the  valley  of  the  Amoor,  to 
open  communication  with  China  and  Japan.  The 
shortest  route  of  travel  round  the  world  a  few 
years  hence  will  lie  through  tlie  northern  section 
of  this  continent  and  throus^h  Siberia.  The 
Himalaya  Eange  of  mountains  and  the  deserts  of 
Central  Asia  will  be  impassible  barriers  to  rail- 


rcaa3  between  India  and  China,  or  Central  Europe 
and  tlie  East ;  but  the  valley  of  the  Amoor  is  fer- 
tile, and  there  is  no  fairer  section  of  tlie  Czar's  do- 
minions than  Siberia.  From  Puget  Sound  straight 
a^^xoss  the  Pacific  will  be  found,  a  few  years  hence, 
the  shortest  route  around  the  world. 

Farm-houses  dot  the  landscape,  roses  climb  by 
cottage-doors,  bees  fill  the  air  with  their  humming, 
bringing  home  to  their  hives  the  sweets  gathered 
from  far-off  prairie-flowers ;  the  prattle  of  children's 
voices  floats  upon  the  air,  the  verdant  waste  be- 
comes an  Eden,  villages,  towns,  and  cities  spring 
into  existence.  A  great  metropolis  rises  upon  the 
Pacific  shore,  where  the  winter  air  is  laden  with 
the  perfume  of  ever-blooming  flowers. 

The  ships  of  all  nations  lie  at  anchor  in  the 
land-locked  bays,  or  shake  out  their  sails  for  a 
voyage  to  the  Orient.  Steamships  come  and  go, 
laden  with  the  teas  of  China  and  Japan,  the  cof- 
fee of  Java,  the  spices  of  Sumatra.  I  hear  the 
humming  of  saws,  the  pounding  of  hammers,  the 
flying  of  shuttles,  the  click  and  clatter  of  ma- 
chinery. By  every  mill-stream  springs  up  a  town. 
The  slopes  are  golden  with  ripening  grain.  The 
forest,  the  field,  the  mine,  the  river,  alike  yield 
their  abundance  to  the  ever-growing  multitude. 

Such  is  the  outlook  towards  the  future.  Will 
the  intellectual  and  moral  development  keep  pace 
with  the  physical  growth  ?    If  those  are  wanting, 


the  advancement  will  be  towards  Sodom.  The  fu- 
ture man  of  the  Northwest  will  have  American, 
Norse,  Celtic,  and  Saxon  blood  in  his  veins.  His 
countenance,  in  the  pure,  dry,  electric  air,  wdll  be 
as  fresh  as  the  morning.  His  muscles  will  be  iron, 
his  nerves  steel.  Vigor  will  characterize  his  every 
action,  —  for  climate  gives  quality  to  the  blood, 
strength  to  the  muscles,  power  to  the  brain.  In- 
dolence is  characteristic  of  people  living  in  the 
tropics,  and  energy  of  those  in  temperate  zones. 

Tlie  citizen  of  the  Northwest  will  be  a  freeman. 
No  shackles  will  bind  him,  nor  will  he  wear  a  lock 
upon  his  lips.  To  the  emigrant  from  the  Old 
World  the  crossing  of  the  ocean  is  an  act  of  eman- 
cipation ;  it  is  like  the  Marseillaise,  —  it  fires  him 
with  new  hopes  and  aspirations. 

"Here  the  free  spirit  of  mankind  at  length 

Throws  its  last  fetters  off,  and  who  shall  place 
A  limit  to  the  giant's  unchained  strength, 

Or  curb  his  swiftness  in  the  forward  race  ? 

For  like  the  comet's  way  through  infinite  space, 
Stretches  the  long  untravelled  path  of  light 

Into  the  depth  of  ages  ;  we  may  trace, 
Distant,  the  brightening  glory  of  its  flight, 
Till  the  receding  rays  are  lost  to  human  sight." 

I  do  not  look  with  desponding  eyes  into  the 
future.  The  nations  everywhere,  —  in  Europe  and 
Asia,  —  the  new  and  the  old,  are  moving  onward 
and  upward  as  never  before,  and  America  leads 
them.  Eailroads,  steamships,  school-houses,  print- 
ing-presses, free  platforms  and  pulpits,  an  open 


Bible,  are  tlie  propelling  forces  of  the  nineteenth 
century.  It  remains  only  for  the  Christian  men 
and  women  of  this  country  to  give  the  Bible,  the 
Sunday  and  the  common  school  to  the  coming  mil- 
lions, to  insure  a  greatness  and  grandeur  to  Amer- 
ica far  surpassing  anything  in  human  history. 

It  will  not  be  for  America  alone ;  for,  under  the 
energizing  powers  of  this  age  the  entire  human 
race  is  moving  on  towards  a  destiny  unseen  except 
to  the  eye  of  faith,  but  unmistakably  grand  and 

I  have  been  an  observer  of  the  civilization  of 
Europe,  and  have  seen  the  kindlings  of  new  life, 
at  the  hands  of  England  and  the  United  States,  in 
India  and  Cliina;  and  through  the  drifting  haze  of 
the  future  I  behold  nations  rising  from  the  dark- 
ness of  ancient  barbarism  into  the  light  of  modem 
civilization,  and  the  radiant  cross  once  reared  on 
Calvary  throwing  its  peaceful  beams  afar,  —  over 
ocean,  valley,  lake,  river,  and  mountain,  illuming 
all  the  earth. 

Situated  where  the  great  stream  of  human  life 
will  pour  its  mightiest  flood  from  ocean  to  ocean, 
beneficently  endowed  with  nature's  riches,  and 
illumed  by  such  a  light,  there  will  be  no  portion 
of  all  earth's  wide  domain  surpassing  in  glory  and 
grandeur  this  future  Seat  of  Empire. 

Cambridge  :  Printed  by  Welch,  Bigelow,  and  Company. 

via  Niagara  Falls. 



Prom  Boston  and  New  York  to  Chicago,  connect- 
ing there  with  all  the  great  Railways, 
North,  South,  and  West. 

Pullman's  Palace,  Hotel,  Drawing-Room,   and 
Sleeping  Cars  on  Express  Trains. 


Freight  taken  through  by  the  "  BLUE  LINE  " 

without  breaking  bulk,  and  in  as  short 
time  as  by  any  other  line. 


P.  K.  RANDALL Boston. 

CHARLES  E.  NOBLE,  ....  New  York. 
HENRY  C.  WENTWORTH,      .       ,  Chicago, 


St,  Paul  and  Pacific  Railroad  Company. 



1,000,000    A.cres    of  Land, 

Located  along  their  two  Railroad  Lines,  viz. :  From  St.  Paul,  via  St.  Anthony, 
Anoka,  St.  Cloud,  and  Sauk   Rapids,  to  Watub  ;  and  from  St. 
Anthony,  via  Minneapolis,  ^Vayzata,  Crow  River, 
Waverly,  and  Forest  City,  to  tho  West- 
ern Boundary  of  tho  State. 



And  ore  aU  within  easy  distance  of  the  Railroad,  in  the  midst  of  considerable 
Settlements,  convenient  to  Churches  and  Schools. 

Inducement  to  Settlers. 

The  attention  of  persons  whose  limited  means  forbid  the  purchase  of  a 
homestead  in  the  older  States,  is  particularly  invited  to  these  lands.  Tiie 
farms  are  sold  in  tracts  of  40  or  80  acres  and  upwards,  at  prices  ranging  from 
5?G.OO  to  )$  1000  per  acre.  Cash  sales  are  always  One  Dollar  |)er  acre  less 
than  Credit  sales.     In  the  latter  case  10  years  are  granted  if  required. 

Example.  —  80  acres  at  ijfi  8  00  per  acre,  on  long  credit,  —  S  040.00.  A  part 
payment  on  the  principal  is  always  desired,  but  in  case  the  means  of  the  set- 
tler are  very  limited,  the  (Jompiny  allows  him  to  pay  only  One  Year's  Interest 
down,  dividing  tho  principal  in  ten  equal  annual  payments,  with  seven  per 
cent  interest  each  year  on  the  unpaid  balance  : 

Int.    Prin. 

Int.    Prill. 

1st  payment     .    .     . 

$44  80 


payment     .    . 

.  $  17.lt2  *  ()1 

2d       "          ... 

.     40.82  $G4 



.    .    13.44     (i4 

3i        "             .    .    . 

a5.84      G4 



.    .        8.9G     (U 

4th      "          ... 

.     313(3      64 


•       • 

.    .      4.48     04 

6th      "            .    .    . 

2G.28      G4 




6th      «'          ... 

.     22.40      G4 

The  purchaser  has  the  privilege  to  pay  up  any  time  within  the  10  years, 
thereby  saving  the  payment  of  interest. 

The  same  land  may  be  purchased  for  ;i;!  560.00  cash.  Any  other  information 
will  be  furnished  on  application  in  person,  or  ny  letter,  in  English,  French  or 
German,  addressed  to 


First  Divisiou  St.  Paul  &  Pacific  R.  K.  Co., 


Southern  Railway. 



All  trains  on  the  New  York  Central  Hudson  Rirer  liailroad,  and  all  traina 
on  the  Erie  Hallway,  form  sure  and  reliable  connections  at  Buffalo  with  the 


All  the  great  railways  in  the  Northwest  and  Southwest  connect  at  Chicago, 
Toledo,  or  Cleveland  with  this  Line. 

Palace,  Drawing-Room,  Sleeping  Coaches  daily  between  New  York  and 
Chicago,  through  wituout  ciianoe. 


The  following  lines  transport  freight  between  Boston,  New  York,  and  prin- 
cipal points  in  New  England  to  Cleveland,  Toledo,  Chicago,  and  principal 
points  in  the  Southwest  and  Northwest,  toithout  break  of  bulk  or  tranter. 



Passengers  or  shippers  of  freight  will  find  it  to  their  interest  to  call  on  the 
Agents  of  these  Lines. 

F.  E.  MORSE,  CHS.  F.  HATCH, 

GenH  Western  Pass'r  J9ff%  QeiiH  Superintcvdent, 

CMcago,  lU.  J.  A.  BURCH,  Cleveland,  O. 

OcnH  Eastern  Pass-r  •Ag't^ 
BuiTalo,  X.  Y. 


The  GREAT  Northern  Line  and  most  direct  route  from 

BOSTON  and  ALL  POINTS  in  New  England  to 



All  points  West,  Northwest,  &  Southwest. 


the  most  elegant  from  Boston,  and  SPLENDID  DRAWING- 
ROOM   CARS  run  on  every  express  train,  connecting 
on  the  Grand  Trunk  Railway  with 

Pullman's  Palace,  Hotel,  and  Sleeping  Cars; 

this  being  the  only  line  affording  such  comfort  and  luxury 
to  the  passenger  between  the  East  and  West. 



National    Despatch.    Ijine. 

Freight  taken  for  Chicago,  St.  Louis,  and  all  points  West 

without  breaking  bulk  or  transfer,  in  as  short 

time  as  any  other  line. 

'    K^"  For  full  information  relating  to  time  contracts,  Tickets,  &c., 
&c.,  please  address  or  call  at 

No.  C5  Washington  Street  (Sears  Building),  Boston. 
LANSING  MILLIS,  General  Agent. 

(Moutreal  Office,  No.  30  Great  St.  James  St.) 
(Neu'  York  Office,  No.  9  Astor  House.) 

Lake  Superior  &  Mississippi  Railroad. 

The  line  of  this  road  is  from  St.  Paul,  the  head  of  navigation  on  the  Mis- 
Bissippi  River,  to  the  head  of  I,ako  Superior,  a  distance  of  140  miles.  It  con- 
nects at  St.  Paul  with  each  of  the  It  ...^  .incs  o''  railroad  traversing  the  vast 
and  fertile  regions  of  Minnesota  in  all  dirertions,  ami  converging  at  St.  Paul- 
It  connects  the  commerce  and  business  of  the  Mississippi  and  Minnesota 
Rivers,  the  California  Central  Railroad,  and  the  Nortbi^rn  Pacific  Railroad, 
with  Lake  Superior  and  the  commercial  system  of  the  great  lakes,  and  makes 
the  outlet  or  commercial  to  the  lakes,  over  which  must  pass  the  com- 
merce of  a  region  of  country  second  to  none  on  the  American  continent  la 
capacity  for  production. 

The  land  grant  made  by  the  government  of  the  United  States  and  by  the 
State  of  Minnesota,  in  aid  of  the  construction  of  this  road,  is  the  largest  in 
quantity  and  most  valuable  iu  kind  ever  made  in  aid  of  any  railway  in  either 
of  the  American  States. 

This  grant  amounts  to  seventeen  square  miles  or  sections  [10,880  acres]  of 
land  for  each  mile  of  the  road,  and  in  the  aggregate  to  One  Millioii*  Six 
Iluiidrcd  aiitl  TIiirty«tAvo  Tliou-saiid  Aci*es  of  Land. 

These  lands  are  for  the  most  part  well  timbered  with  pine,  butternut,  white 
oak,  sugar  maple,  and  other  valuable  timber,  and  are  perhaps  better  adapted 
to  the  raising  of  stock,  winter  wheat,  corn,  oats,  and  most  kinds  of  agricul 
tural  products,  than  any  equal  quantity  of  land  in  the  Northwest. 

These  lands  are  well  watered  with  running  streams  and  innumerable  lakes , 
and  within  the  limits  of  the  land  belonging  to  the  Company  there  is  an  abun- 
dance of  water-power  for  manufacturing  purposes. 

A  glance  at  the  map,  and  an  intelligent  comprehensloa  of  the  course  of 
trade,  and  way  to  the  markets  of  the  Eastern  cities  and  to  Europe,  for  the 
products  of  this  section  of  the  Nnrthwest,  will  at  once  satisfy  any  one  who 
examines  the  question  that  the  lands  of  this  Company,  by  reason  of  the  low 
freights  at  which  their  products  reach  market,  have  a  value  —  independent 
of  that  which  arises  from  their  superior  quality  —  which  can  hardly  be  over- 

Twenty  cents  saved  in  sending  a  bushel  of  wheat  to  market  adds  four  dol- 
lars to  the  yearly  product  of  an  acre  of  wheat  land,  and  what  is  true  of  this 
will  apply  to  all  other  articles  of  farm  produce  transported  to  market,  and 
demonstrates  that  the  value  of  lands  depends  largely  on  the  price  at  which 
their  products  can  be  carried  to  market. 


Iniraigraiits   and    Settlers 

at  the   most  favorable   rates,    as  to  time    and   terms  of 



President  and  Land  Commissioner,  Saint  Paul,  Minnesota. 







By  Charles  Carleton  Coffin.  Containing  several  Maps, 
showing  steamship  lines  and  routes  of  travel,  and  profusely  illus- 
trated with  more  than  100  engravings,  reproduced  from  pLoto- 
graphs  and  original  sketches.  Crown  octavo.  Morocco  Clothj 
$  3.00  ;  Half  Calf,  $  5.50  ;  Library  Edition,  $  3.50. 

"  In  Mr.  Charles  C.  Coffin  we  have  a  traveller  after  the  latest  and  best 
transatlantic  pattern.  lie  has  thrown  himself  thoroughly  into  the  spirit  of 
his  age  ond  race  ;  yet,  while  loynl  to  the  backbone,  and  indnri^ing  to  the  full 
his  country's  claims  to  present  grandeur  and  future  pre-eminence,  he  has  a 
corner  in  his  soul  for  the  merits  of  other  lands,  and  is  open  to  the  lessons  of 
Old- World  wisdom.  Rapid  as  was  his  flight,  and  superficial  as  was  his  pur- 
view of  the  multitudinous  objects  that  diily  crowded  his  path,  his  powers  of 
observation  are,  we  are  bound  to  say,  keen  and  Tiporous,  and  his  judgments 
upon  men  and  things  both  shrewd  and  impartial.    Be  it  the  aspects  of  nature. 


the  historical  monument'?,  the  national  traits,  or  the  social  idiosyncrasies  that 
come  before  iiim,  we  find  him  invariably  alive  to  what  is  most  beautiful  or 
august  or  original  or  pi({uant,  as  tiie  case  may  be.  Ho  is  at  all  times  happy 
in  hitting  off  the  salient  features,  or  picking  out  the  weak  spots,  in  local  life 

and  manners The  history  of  British  rule  in  India,  and  the  tokens  of 

material  and  social  advancement  everywhere  beside  his  path,  are  themes  affer 
the  American's  own  heart.  We  have  never  seen  a  more  graphic  or  telling 
pketch  of  Anjilo-Indian  life  and  characteristics  within  anything  like  the  com- 
pass of  Mr.  Coffins  tljing  experiences  ....  Mr.  Coffin's  studies  of  life  in 
China  are  eminently  piquant  and  original.    Notliing  is  too  old  or  too  new  to 

escape  his  notice The  wood -cuts  interspersed  among  his  pages  de.servo 

a  word  of  commendation.  They  are  drawn  witix  vigor  and  truth,  often  show- 
ing touches  of  quaint  and  quiet  humor.  Altogether,  if  there  is  nrthing  new 
under  the  sun.  Our  New  ^V'ay  Round  the  World  shows  there  may  be  mucli 
novelty  and  freshness  in  the  mode  of  telling  even  a  thrice-told  tale."  —  Sat- 
urday Review  {London). 

"  The  author  of  this  interesting  and  valuable  tour  of  the  globe  starts  from 
New  York,  visits  every  city  of  note  in  Europe,  sails  from  Marseilles  to  Alex- 
andria, thence  to  Cairo,  and  Suez  Canal,  India,  Chinn,  and  Japan,  returning 
by  the  way  of  California.  Through  tliis  wide  field  for  observation  and  re- 
search, his  keen  habits  of  characterization,  and  his  vivid  powers  of  descrip- 
tion make  him  an  exceedingly  agreeable  travelling  companion.  Mr.  Coffin 
has  the  very  happy  faculty  of  giving  to  a  really  thrice-told  tale  of  travel  a 
freshness  that  carries  the  reader  to  the  end  of  the  volume  with  unabated 
interest,  llis  tour  in  the  interior  of  the  British  possessions  in  India  is  full 
of  interest,  —  and  his  elaborate  pictures  of  China  at  the  present  time  are 
valuable,  showing  the  actual  character  of  the  people  ;  the  tenacity  of  their 
prejudices,  which  appear  to  resist  all  innovation  from  '  outside  barbarians,'  is 
most  graphically  depicted,  and  is  worthy  the  attention  of  our  politicians  and 
speculative  philanthropists.  The  book  on  the  whole  is  a  valuable  addition  to 
our  native  literature,  written  as  it  is  from  a  distinctive  American  stand-point 
view  of  foreign  nations.  Numerous  spirited  designs,  illustrative  r.f  habits 
and  manners,  adorn  the  work,  together  with  maps  in  abundance." — JV.  Y. 

"A  model  record  of  travel,  over  fields  comparatively  unknown.  It  com- 
bines, in  a  remarkable  degree,  skill  and  judgment  in  the  selection  of  facta 
and  points,  with  clearness,  accuracy,  and  proportion  in  their  statement :  a 
natural  ease  and  grace  of  expression,  with  a  genial  spirit,  and  a  broad,  true 
sympathy  with  everything  human.  A  very  large  amount  of  instructive  and 
attractive  matter  is  compressed  in  its  pages.  The  illustrations,  too,  are  nu- 
merous, and  all  in  admirable  keeping  with  the  narrative.  In  these,  and  in 
the  clear,  fair,  readable  type,  the  publishers  have  well  done  their  part. 

"  We  confess  to  a  deeper,  and  consciously  healthier  interest  in  the  perusal 
than  in  the  reading  of  any  similar  volume.  Very  heartily,  therefore,  do  we 
commend  the  book  to  the  winter-evening  family  circle,  sure  that  it  will  in- 
struct and  charm  alike  both  young  and  old."  —  JV.  Y.  Christian  IVorld. 

"  Thr  book  has  many  excellent  illustmtions,  and  is  written  with  all  the 
loveliness  and  instructiveness  for  which  '  Carleton '  became  famous  during 
the  war,  as  a  war  correspondent  of  the  Boston  Journal.  The  book  is  gossipy 
and  entertaining  in  a  high  degree,  and  will  interest  young  and  old."  —  JVeic 
York  Evening  Post. 

*#*  For  sale  by  all  booksellers,  or  sent,  post-paid,  to  any  address,  by 
Vie  Publishers, 


124  Tremont  Streei,  Boston. 


A  volume  of  Personal  Ob?ervntion  with  the  Army  and  Navy,  from 
tlie  first  Battle  of  Bull  Run  to  the  Fall  of  Richmond.  1  vol.  8vo. 
With  Steel  Portrait  of  the  Author,  and  numerous  Illustrations. 
Cloth,  $3.50  ;  Sheep,  $4.50. 

From  Senator  Yates,  of  Illinois. 

....  From  the  accuracy  with  which  you  rel.*»tc  tliose  incidents  which  fell 
under  my  personal  observation,  I  am  persuuded  that  tlie  whole  volume  forms 
a  very  valuable  additiou  to  the  historic  literature  of  the  heroic  iipe  of  the 
Republic.  I  am,  sir,  your  obliged  friend,  IIICU'D  YATES. 

*^*  For  sftle  by  all  Booksellers.  Sent,  post-paid,  on  receipt  oj" price 
by  the  Pu'  ishers, 

FIELDS,  OSGOOD,  &  CO.,  Boston. 



A  Book  for  Boys.    By  "  Carleton."    1  vol.    IGmo.    Illustrated. 


*'  It  is  written  by  one  of  the  beat  of  the  war  correspondents, '  Carleton,' 
of  the  Boston  Journal,  whose  opportunities  for  observing  all  the  celebrated 
battles  of  the  war  were  unsurpassed.  The  book  is  really  a  history  of  the  first 
year  of  the  war,  and  describes  the  principal  battles  of  that  period,  —  Bull 
Run,  Fort  Henry,  Fort  Donelson,  Pittsburg  Laiiding,  Columbus,  New  Mad- 
rid, Island  No.  10,  and  Memphis,  in  part  of  which  the  writer  was,  and  all  of 
which  he  saw." — Buffalo  Express. 

***  For  sale  by  all  Booksellers.  Sent,  post-paid,  on  receipt  of  price 
by  the  Publishers, 

FIELDS,  OSGOOD,  &  CO.,  Boston. 


From  August,  1861,  to  November,  1862,  with  the  Army  of  the  Poto- 
mac.   By "  Cauleton."     1vol.    16mo.    illustrated.    $1.50. 

"  *  Carleton  is  by  all  odds  the  best  writer  for  boys  on  the  war.  His  '  Days 
and  Nif^hts  on  the  Battle-Field  '  made  him  famous  among  the  young  folks. 
To  read  his  books  is  equal  in  interest  to  a  bivouac  or  a  battle,  and  is  free  from 
the  hard  couch  and  harder  bread  of  the  one,  and  the  jeopardizing  bullets  of 
the  other.  To  be  entertained  and  informed,  we  would  rather  peruse  '  Fol- 
lowing the  Flag '  than  study  a  dozen  octavo  volumes  written  by  a  world- 
renowned  historian."  —  ImlianapoUs  Journal. 

*^*  For  sale  by  all  Booksellers.  Sent,  post-paid,  on  receipt  of  price 
hy  the  Publishers. 

FIELDS,  OSGOOD,  &  CO.,  Boston. 


1  vol.    16mo.    Illustrated.    $  1.25.     , 

Clement,  Clinton  Co.,  Illinois. 
Mr.  Carleton. 

Dear  Sir,  —  Is  "  Winning  His  Way '' a  true  story  ? 

Is  the  story  published  in  book  foi-ni  ?  , 

Where  does  Paul  live  ? 

I  am  very  much  interested  in  the  story,  but  my  father  thinks  it  is  all  fic- 
tion as  he  calls  it. 

If  you  will  answer  this  you  will  oblige  a  boy  ten  years  old,  who  has  read  it 

four  times,  and  who  means  to  read  it  again  when  I  go  over  to  Aunt  Leach's. 

Paul's  ardent  aduiirer, 

April  16, 1870.  .  . 

Boston,  May  7, 1870. 
John  W.  Scott. 

My  Dear  Young  Friend,  —  I  am  very  much  gratified  to  hear  that  you  aro 
so  much  interested  in  '•  Winning  His  Way,"  which  has  been  published  in 
book  form  by  Messrs.  Fields,  Osgood,  &  Co. 

You  ask  if  it  is  a  true  story.  I  will  tell  you  about  it :  I  knew  a  brave  boy 
who  went  into  the  army  and  fought  just  as  Paul  fought,  who  was  left  on  the 
field  for  dead,  and  who  was  taken  to  a  rebel  prison,  and  I  had  him  la  mind  all 
the  time  I  was  writing  the  story. 

That  is  all  true  about  painting  the  pigs,  and  shutting  the  school-houFo 
door,  and  tying  the  hay  in  front  of  the  old  horse's  nose. 

So  you  can  tell  your  father  that  the  things  did  not  happen  just  in  the  or- 
der they  are  given  in  the  book,  but  that  I  tried  to  make  the  story  true  to 
life.  Your  friend, 


"  A  story  of  a  poor  \restern  boy  who,  with  true  American  grit  in  his  com- 
position, worked  his  way  into  a  position  of  honorable  independence,  and  who 
was  among  the  first  to  rally  round  the  flag  when  the  day  of  his  country's  peril 
came.  There  is  a  sound,  manly  tone  about  the  book,  a  freedom  from  nam- 
by-pamby ism,  worthy  of  all  commendation."  —  Sunday  School  Times. 

"  One  of  the  best  of  stories  for  boys."  —  Hartford  Cuurant. 

*.**  For  snJe  hy  all  Booksellers.    Sent,  post-paid,  on  receipt  oj" price 
by  the  Publishers, 

FIELDS,  OSGOOD,  &;  CO.,  Boston.